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FROM THE FUND OF
HARRIET J, G. DENNY
RHYMES AND RECOLLECTIONS
A HAND-LOOM WEAVER.
t-J-^ji^ jp\-*^} M<4- tor*. *■<./■■-&■+ eV"7
RHYMES AND RECOLLECTIONS
A HAND-LOOM WEAVER,
BY WILLIAM THOM,
' An' syne whan nichts grew cauld an' lang,
Ae while he aicht— ae while he sang."
SMITH, ELDER AND CO., 65, CORNHILL.
c^ )t-? ^Jl.3
*MAR 28 1917^
THIS BOOK IS PRESENTED
EMMA KATHARINE GORDON,
LADY OF SNOCKESPOCK,
WHO HAD THE HAPPINESS FOB A TIME TO BE A SHARER
IN THE GENERAL GLADNE8S OF HER HOME;
WHERE MANY, AS WELL AS HE, REGRET
SHE LEAVES WHEN AUTUMN WEARY
BIDS WINTER WASTE THE PLAIN ;
SHE LOOKS ON LANDS MAIR CHEARY,
'TIL OURS ARE GREEN AGAIN.
OH, WOULD SHE DWELL AMONG U8
WHEN DALES ARE DEEP Wl' 8NAW,
DOUR WINTER COULD NA WRANG US,
NOR 81MMER SEEM AW A*.
* DEDICATION TO MRS. GORDON, OF KNOCKESPOCK.
TO THE READER. 1
* PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION .... 5
* RECOLLECTIONS 7
THE BLIND BOY's PRANKS, NO. 1 53
99 99 99 NO. II 57
„ „ „ no. m 63
* LINES OCCASIONED BY THE SUDDEN DEATH OF COUNT
JOHN LESLIE OF BALQUHAIN AND FETTERNEIR . 67
** WHISPERINGS FOR THE UNWASHED . . . .72
THE MANIAC MOTHER' 8 DREAM 77
OLD FATHER FROST AND HIS FAMILY . . . .84
AUTUMN WINDS . 89
OH, MARY ! WHEN YOU THINK OF ME . . . .91
I'VE SOUGHT IN LANDS AYONT THE SEA . . .93
I WOULDNA — OH ! I COULDNA LOOK . . . . .95
JEANIE'S GRAVE 97
THEY SPEAK O* WYLES . 99
THE LAST TRYST . . 100
ONE OF THE HEART'S STRUGGLES 102
YE DINNA KEN YON BOWER 104
* Not in First Edition.
BONNIE MAT 106
LINES WRITTEN AT RAVENSCRAIG 108
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OP THE . . . .110
THE OVERGATE OF DUNDEE ORPHAN . . . .112
A CHIEFTAIN UNKNOWN TO THE QUEEN . . .117
THE DRUNKARD'S DREAM 119
CAN YE FORGET? 121
THE LASS O' KINTORE 123
DID THEY MEET AGAIN ? 125
THE LASS Wl' THE WANDERIN' e'e . . . .127
MY HEATHER LAND 129
MY HAMELES3 HA* 131
LETTER TO J. ROBERTSON, ESQ 133
TO MY SON WILLIE 134
" IN THE INFIRMARY 136
DREAMING 8 OF THE BEREAVED 138
THE M1THERLESS BAIRN . .140
.THE WEDDED WATERS 142
OH, THAT MY LOVE WAS SO EASILY WON ! .144
SECOND LOVE . . , m . 146
ADDRESS TO THE DON 147
* WHISPER LOW 150
* GLAMOURIE ; 01", MESMERISM A8 WE HAVE IT AT INVERURY 152
* SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY, ABERDEEN 155
* monitor's song 156
* the stricken branch 159
* the f18hermen 162
* lines suggested by the above disaster .' .164
* lines to m188 lucy lawrence ottley . .166
kbockbspock's lady (additional stanzas) .168
BOTES, (BY ANOTHER HAND) 173
VMX OF PERSONS AND PLACES 185
IU AOTHOB'8 ACKNOWLEDGMENT .191
♦ Not in First Edition.
TO THE EEADEE.
If, in my song or in my saying, there appears
more of Egotism than enough, how can I avoid it
and speak at all ? The narrative portion of these
pages is a record of scenes and circumstances
interwoven with my experience — with my destiny.
Hence the necessity of my telling my own tale.
Then the feelings and fancies, the pleasure and
the pain, that for a time hovered about my aimless
existence were all my own — my property. These
aerial investments I held and fashioned into mea-
Thus, by the self- derived authority whereby I
tell my own tale, do I sing my own song ; so
that 2", We, and t7s, are the all and all of the
matter. The self-portraiture herein attempted is
not altogether Egotism neither, inasmuch as the
RHYMES AND RECOLLECTIONS
A HAND-LOOM WEAYEIL
BY WILLIAM THOM,
;t An' syne whan nichts grew cauld an' lang,
Ae while be stent — ae while he sang."
SMITH, ELDER AND CO., 65, CORNHILL.
THIS BOOK IS PRESENTED
EMMA KATHARINE GORDON,
LADY OF SNOCKESPOCK,
^VfHO HAD THE HAPPINE88 FOB A TIME TO BE A SHARER
IN THE GENERAL GLADNES8 OF HER HOME;
WHERE MANY, AS WELL AS HE, REGRET
SHE LEAVES WHEN AUTUMN WEARY
BIDS WINTER WASTE THE PLAIN ;
SHE LOOKS ON LANDS MAIR CHEARY,
'TIL OURS ARE GREEN AGAIN.
OH, WOULD SHE DWELL AMONG US
WHEN DALE8 ARE DEEP Wl' 8NAW,
DOUR WINTER COULD NA WRANG US,
NOR SIMMER SEEM AW A*.
6 PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
something different to all it taught to others. As
there are not two human visages alike in every
feature, so neither will be found two human desti-
nies in every way alike. The lightest atom that
floats in air will have its influence on man and
kingdoms, — what wonder, then, if we differ in
taste, in loving and in loathing, in brown hair or
in black, in apparel to the body as in religion to
the soul. We are governed by unsought visitants
from earth, air, and sea, and by influences from
each other ; and what we call " Witt" is no more
than the fact of our yielding to these influences ;
but when these visitants find no fastening and
pass away, we bravely pride ourselves on sin
Among the many stately buildings that now claim
a stranger's notice as he approaches Aberdeen
from the south, most of all will he admire the
cluster of churches lately erected at the north end
of Belmont Street. The change is grateful even
to the eye, when one remembers the odious looking
" rickles " that for seventy long years disfigured
that spot. How much more beautiful, and how
emphatic the contrast in another and dearer light,
to those who know the misery, the destroying
influences, that during nearly a century were up-
held and nourished within the dismal walls of
the " School Hill Factory" — there, as once it stood,
a prime nursery of vice and sorrow. Many, many
a miserable wanderer in after years, of unrevealed
suffering and bitter penitence could date that doom
from the hour yon blue gates shut upon him.
Virtue perished within its walls — utterly perished,
and was dreamed of no more ; or, if remembered
at all, only in a deep and woful sense of self-
debasement — a struggling to forget, where it was
hopeless to obtain. So Folly, Sin, and Shame
stalked abroad from this grand nursery unheeded.
Never mind that, it was a most " thriving concern"
to its owners. It is a duty, do it who may — and it
shall be done — to expose the factory system of that
day, as it stood in our "moral North." Fairly
to put the knife into the dead monster, lay bare
its dark core, dissect it in broad day, that the
world may see who had the fat and who the
famine portion of that heartless trading. Then
weep the folly of seeking beyond the ocean for that
sin and slavery we had so rife at home. Meantime,
here is offered only an undetailed view of the main
elements, forbearing at present to trace their live-
long influences on myself and others. True, the
rubbishly stain is blotted from the earth — not so
the evils it reared, and cast upon society. Nor
are all its ancient tenants in the dust. At every
turning of my native city, I meet the shadow of
a former shopmate, haggard, and prematurely old,
worn beyond the pale of usefulness on earth,
God speed yon holy buildings, be they kirks
Free or Fast. There they are instead of an olden-
time factory ; and that it is so, the best wish
that the best heart can form, the wish will be, that
the new building become the means of rescuing
as many souls as the evil tutory of its predecessor
has sent astray.
About the year 1770 this work commenced,
experimenting on a small way the jenny-spinning,
then but lately discovered. After some time other
houses were added, and the whole converted into
one entire weaving factory : the company, a
powerful one, having erected an extensive spinning-
mill at Woodside, close by Aberdeen. Then was
the daisy portion of weaving — the bright and mid-
day period of all who pitched a shuttle, and of the
happy one whose luck it was to win a weaver's
smile. Four days did the weaver work, — for then
four days was a week, as far as working went, —
and such a week to a skilful workman brought
forty shillings. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday,
were of course jubilee. Lawn frills gorged freely
from under the wrists of his fine blue, gilt-but-
toned coat. He dusted his head with white flour
on Sunday, smirked, and wore a cane. Walked
in clean slippers on Monday — Tuesday heard him
talk war bravado, quote Volney, and get drunk.
Weaving commenced gradually on Wednesday :
then were little children pirn-fillers, and such were
taught to steal warily past the gate-keeper, con-
cealing the bottle. These " wee " smugglers had
a drop for their services,* over and beyond their
chances of profiting by the elegant and edifying
* They know little of the matter who know only the physical evils
bred in factories.
discussions uttered in their hearing. Infidelity was
just then getting fashionable. When I first became
an inmate of this building in 1814, only two or
three veteran fools lived to feel the deplorable
change that had overtaken our helpless calling,
and to witness the more deplorable continuance
and extending of habits begun and fostered by
them in years of fulness, yet still clinging to the
lean frame and torn doublet of the tenpence-a-day
weaver, and imparted by him to the green-horns
around. What could not now be done in full, was
imitated pretty well; and, if money was absent,
device was ever near. Many curious expedients
were weekly discovered, and as duly practised.
To raise the wind-convivial; to keep it breezing,
when raised, secured distinction and approval.
Be the graceless details forgotten ! — I can only
allude to these desperate and ingenious resources
as answering the questions — " How could dissi-
pation exist where wages barely afforded ordinary
sustenance?" It was so — the weaver of forty
shillings bequeathed his vices to the weaver of
six shillings a week. The weaver of forty shil-
lings had money instead of wit, the weaver of
six shillings wit instead of money. During my
experience of seventeen years within that factory
the average earnings of first-rate hands, varying
with the times, good and bad, were from six to
nine shillings a week, second-rate workers from
three to five shillings weekly. Some worked
RECOLLECTIONS. 1 1
weeks, — months, for nothing. — How? Thus it
was. If, from whatever cause except sickness, a
girl was absent, she was marked down and fined
to the extent and in proportion to the time of
her absence. For example, if any female worker
came to the gate after seven in the morning, she
was not permitted to enter, lost the morning's
work, and was fined a sixpence. A few of these
rejected ones — it was almost a daily thing —
would stroll about, unwilling to face a scolding at
home. They went not there. Some would, and
return to work when the gate opened at nine.
The grave will ask, Could not they all have done
so likewise ? No, they, like yourselves, were some
wise, and some weak. The question is an idle
one, and worse than foolish, but you know you
put it forth, and often. It were wiser work by far,
and better, to clear away the stumbling blocks that
beset the earlier paths of erring creatures rather
than admire or grieve at the error. Give yourselves
but the trouble to look for it, and you will find out
a link or two precede crime. These you should cut.
You may do it. The object chained, however wil-
ling, has seldom the power. These poor girls are
loitering — idle, wandering between a laugh and a
tear — the most slippery standing of any. Ten to
one if that day, or the next two days find the fair
truants at their looms. For each day absent there
comes a fine of one shilling, hence three days
absence required three days of hard working to
clear scores with the " Company " for the follies
of the week. This was not rare, but very common.
Here was a Savings Bank truly inside out! In-
stead of wondering at the folly, rather ask how
the fool subsisted in this work-for-nothing way?
Where was her table spread? her fare what? and
how looked her home? Condemn not, ye pros-
perous, ye untempted happy ! Bless your dear
selves. Your pantry full, and your feet warm.
Saturday night creeps through yon dreary garret
where her mother sits eagerly in fancy making
" ends meet," balancing her little debts with her
Jeanie's earnings ! She knows not yet the truancy of
yon morning — nor the fatal followings thereof — nor
does she yet feel that the bread she devours is the
price of her ruined lassie ! There is a beginning,
and if in her young and yet unhardened breast
there speaks a portion of womanly regret — it is
laughed away by her merry shop-mates. Her
doom on earth is fixed.
Between three and four hundred male and female
workers were promiscuously distributed over the
work; the distinctive character of all sunk away.
Man became less manly. Woman unlovely and
rude. Many of these married, some pairs seemed
happy, they were few and left the work whenever
they could get webs and looms outside. Vacancies
daily made, were daily filled — often by queer enough
people, and from all parts, none too coarse for using.
He who had never sought a better sight than an
unwatched pocket — he, trained to the loom six
months in Bridewell, came forth a journeyman
weaver, and lo ! his precious experiences were in-
fused into the common moral puddle, and in due
time did its work — became a fixture, — another pot
of poison sunken in the common well, and drink
they must. The poorest poor, the uneducated, the
untrained poor, drank of it; yet the wise and well
provided will often condemn, without one pitying
look, nor seek to see that strong link between crime
and cause !
The garden of Gordon's Hospital lay close by our
work, and was at the time open to all during every
day. There was quietness there, though encircled
by noisy streets. There, of a summer day, we would
meet — those of us who had a turn for reading — and
gossip over all we knew of books and the outer
world. Then came glimpses, — the only glimpses
afforded us of true, and natural, and rational exist-
ence. Then would the shuttle rest for a time, and
" a little time yet — a harder and a longer pull to-
morrow will keep soul and body acquainted, and
our utmost does no more." With such coaxing
philosophy, and the warm sun and the green, aye
green garden about us, what wonder if there was
lost in that day's labour the cloth of a striped shirt ?
It was only a groat ! The Wizard of Waverley
had roused the world to wonders, and we wondered
too. Byron was flinging around the terrible and
beautiful of a distracted greatness. Moore was
doing all he could for love-sick boys and girls, —
yet they had never enough ! Nearer and dearer to
hearts like ours was the Ettrick Shepherd, then
in his full tide of song and story ; but nearer and
dearer still than he, or any living songster — to us
dearer — was our ill-fated fellow-craftsman, Tanna-
liill, who had just then taken himself from a neg-
lecting world, while yet that world waxed mellow
in his lay. Poor weaver chiel ! What we owe to
thee! Your "Braes o' Balquidder," and "Yon
Burnside," and " Gloomy Winter," and the " Min-
strel's" wailing ditty, and the noble " GleneifFer."
Oh ! how they did ring above the rattling of a
hundred shuttles ! Let me again proclaim the debt
we owe those Song Spirits, as they walked in
melody from loom to loom, ministering to the
low-hearted ; and when the breast was filled with
everything but hope and happiness, and all but
seared, let only break forth the healthy and vigo-
rous chorus "A man's a man for a' that," the
fagged weaver brightens up. His very shuttle
skytes boldly along, and clatters through in faithful
time to the tune of his merrier shopmates !
Who dare measure in doubt the restraining in-
fluences of these very Songs ? To us they were
all instead of sermons. Had one of us been bold
enough to enter a church, he must have been ejected
for the sake of decency. His forlorn and curiously
patched habiliments would have contested the point
of attraction with the ordinary eloquence of that
period. So for all parties it was better that he kept
to his garret, or wandered far " in the deep green
wood." Church bells rang not for us. Poets were
indeed our Priests. But for those, the last relic of
our moral existence would have surely passed away !
Song was the dew drops that gathered during the
long dark night of despondency, and were sure to
glitter in the very first blink of the sun. Yonder
you might have seen " Auld Robin Gray" wet the
eyes that could be tearless amidst cold and hunger,
and weariness, and pain. Surely, surely then there
was to that heart one passage yet unclosed ; and a
way to carry something thither would save the
dreary tenement. We had nothing to give but a
kind look and a song. The soup-kitchen was open
five months in two years. The dead were buried —
now why will people always grumble ? To us Vir-
tue, in whatever shape, came only in shadow, but
even by that we saw her sweet proportions, and
sometimes fain would have sought a kind acquaint-
ance with her. Thinking that the better features of
humanity could not be utterly defaced where song
and melody were permitted to exist, and that where
they were not all crushed, Hope and Mercy might
yet bless the spot, some waxed bold, and for a time
took leave of those who were called to " sing ayont
the moon," groping amidst the material around
and stringing it up, ventured on a home-made
lilt. — Short was the search to find a newly kindled
love, or some old heart abreaking. Such was aye
amongst us and not always unnoticed, nor, as ye
shall see, unsung.
It was not enough that we merely chaunted, and
listened ; but some more ambitious, or idle if you
will, they in time would try a self-conceived song.
Just as if some funny little boy, bolder than the
rest, would creep into the room where lay Neil
Gow's fiddle, and touch a note or two he could not
name. How proud he is ! how blest ! for he had
made a sound, and more, his playmates heard it,
faith ! Here I will introduce one of these early
touches, not for any merit of its own, but it will
show that we could sometimes bear and even seek
for our minds a short residence, though not elegant,
at least sinless, — a fleeting visit of healthy things,
though small they were in size and few in number.
Spray from a gushing " linn, " if it slackened not
the thirst, it cooled the brow.
The following ditty had its foundation in one of
those luckless doings which ever and aye follow
misguided attachments ; and in our abode of free-
dom these were almost the only kind of attachments
known ; so they were all on the wrong side of dura-
bility or happiness.
Atr — " LasSy gin you We me, tell me two."
We'll meet in yon wood, 'neath a starless sky,
When wrestling leaves forsake ilk tree ;
We mauna speak mair o' the days gane by,
Nor o* friends that again we never maun see :
Nae weak word o' mine shall remembrance gie
O' vows that were made and were broken to me :
Til seem in my silence to reckon them dead,
A' withered and lost as the leaves that we tread.
Alane ye maun meet me, when midnight is near,
By yon blighted auld bush that we fatally ken ;
The voice that allured me, O ! let me nae hear,
For my heart mauna beat to its music again.
In darkness we'll meet, and in silence remain;
Hk word now and look now, were mockful or vain;
Ae mute moment mourn the dream that misled,
Syne sinder as cauld as the leaves that we tread.
This ditty was sung in the weaving shops, and
when in the warbling of one who could lend a good
voice to the occasion, and could coax the words and
air into a sort of social understanding, then was it a
I cannot remember the precise date of this me-
lancholy creation. Sure enough some time about
Mauna, must not
1826, when banks were falling like meteors, but
rather oftener ; the world seemed hurrying to ruin.
The very Sun on high lent a helping heat — kind-
ling Mirrimachi. Cauld Caledonia lay baked and
cracked — yielding Lilliputian crops — a parody on
corn. Amidst all this, and more than all this,
weavers would sing. The factory- distinguished
writer of these verses, though at first indifferent,
yet as they became more favoured by his shop-
mates, and had actually been named without the
gates, conceit gradually stole away his better judg-
ment ; and at last one of his eyes — the weather eye
— became firmly shut, while the other was immove-
ably fixed on Parnassus. Why should his powers
live and die in this black boundary? His song not
be heard beyond the unpoetical brick walls of a
factory ? It was settled. He is off. The shuttle
for a time may go rot. No heed, no care of the
hungry hours and hard weaving that must follow.
There he goes, and over his beating heart lies a
well-folded, fairly-copied version of his first-born,
as he wends his way to the printing-office of the
One special crony, and only one, was in con-
fidence, and no mean sharer was he in the unutter-
ably curious feeling that sets in on the first throes
of authorship. Early on the morning of publication
the anxious pair stood watchfully in a court that led
to the printing-office. The Confidant was in that
moderately troublesome state known as fidgets, with
now and then a qualm, inasmuch as having talked
away two days' work, there was not withal to settle
up matters in his boarding-house that night. The
Principal, although in the very same plight, felt not
the very same way. His pain — for pain it was —
had no connection with aught on earth, save and
except the printing-office on which he gazed. Did
his verses exist in print?
Woes on me ! Why don't they buy a paper ?
Man after man, lad and elderly woman, passed
each other with Journal at nose, heedless of all
" Ask that man for a peep."
" Have not I besought it of twenty ?"
" Then let us try that chappie coming up."
This was meant for a sulky little fellow, who
refused flat to open his paper. Patience could do
no more ; it becked* away, quite ; good manners
and honesty followed. We were " left to ourselves."
The obstinate journal bearer was borne into a house
entry; we shut the door; and while he kicked
and roared, we groped for the Poor Man's Corner
in the Journal, and were blest — the song was
# # # # #
Weaving, as year after year it dwindled, became
at length an evendown waste of life — a mere per-
mission to breathe. Sickened at the very sameness
in this mode of dying, I resolved to vary the
method, and taste, by way of change, Sorrow further
South. I found her grim Ladyship at last; but
not until I had enjoyed nine years of such happi-
ness as seldom visits man.
In the spring of 1837, # the failure of certain great
commercial establishments in America, combining
with other causes, silenced, in one week, upwards
of six thousand looms in Dundee, and the various
agencies in its connexion, and spread dismay through-
out the whole county of Forfar. Amongst the many
villages thus trade-stricken, none felt the blow more
severely than that of Newtyle, near Cupar- Angus.
This village was new, having sprung up since the
completion of the Dundee Railway, a few years
before. It consisted chiefly of weaving-shops and
dwellings for the weavers. The inhabitants, about
two hundred in number, were strangers to the place
and to each other, having been recently collected
from distant places by advertisements promising
them many advantages, but which, when the evil
day came, were little regarded. While employers
were, some unwilling and many unable, to do any-
• While in London (1841), I was introduced to Mr. Robert
Chambers, of the Edinburgh Journal. In course of gossip, I
related to him what led to the production of an " Ode to iny Flute."
He liked the story, and, at his request, I wrote it.
thing for the relief of those whom they had brought
together for their own purposes, the people of the
neighbourhood, including those of the old village
of Newtyle, regarded them with stern prejudice, as
intruders " that naebody kent naething aboot.". It
were too much to say that they were positively per-
secuted by their neighbours, but certainly they
received no sympathy in their distresses from that
quarter, much less any relief.
A little while thinned the village, those only re-
maining who had many children, and were obliged
to consider well before they started. To these (and
I was of the number) one web was supplied weekly,
bringing five shillings. The weaver will know what
sort of job the weaving of an "Osnaburg" was at
that price. It had been a stiff winter and unkindly
spring, but it passed away, as other winters and
springs must do. I will not expatiate on six human
lives subsisting on five shillings weekly — on babies
prematurely thoughtful — on comely faces withering
— on desponding youth, and too quickly declining
age. These things are perhaps too often talked of.
Let me describe but one morning of modified star-
vation at Newtyle, and then pass on.
Imagine a cold spring forenoon. It is eleven
o'clock, but our little dwelling shows none of the
signs of that time of day. The four children are
still asleep. There is a bed-cover hung before the
window, to keep all within as much like night as
possible ; and the mother sits beside the beds of her
children, to lull them back to sleep whenever any
shows an inclination to awake. For this there is a
cause, for our weekly five shillings have not come as
expected, and the only food in the house consists of
a handful of oatmeal saved from the supper of last
night. Our fuel is also exhausted. My wife and I
were conversing in sunken whispers about making
an attempt to cook the handful of meal, when the
youngest child awoke beyond its mother's power to
hush it again to sleep, and then fell a whimpering,
and finally broke out in a steady scream, rendering
it impossible any longer to keep the rest in a state
of unconsciousness. Face after face sprang up, each
with one consent exclaiming, " Oh, mither, mither,
gie me a piece ! " How weak a word is sorrow to
apply to the feelings of myself and wife during the
remainder of that dreary forenoon !
We thus lingered on during the spring, still hop-
ing that things would come a little round, or that at
least warmer weather would enable us, with more
safety, to venture on a change of residence. At
length, seeing that our strength was rapidly declin-
ing, I resolved to wait no longer. Proceeding to
Dundee, I there exchanged at a pawnbroker's, a
last and most valued relic of better days, for ten
shillings, four of which I spent on such little articles
as usually constitute " a pack," designing this to be
carried by my wife, while other four shillings I
expended on second-hand books, as a stock of
merchandize for myself; but I was very unfortu-
nate in my selection, which consisted chiefly of
little volumes, containing abridgements of modern
authors, these authors being little to the general
taste of a rustic population.
On a Thursday morning we forsook our melan-
choly habitation, leaving in it my two looms and
some furniture (for we thought of returning to it),
and the key with the landlord. On the third day,
Saturday, we passed through the village of Inch-
ture, in the Carse of Gowrie, and proceeded towards
Kinnaird. Sunset was followed by cold sour east
winds and rain. The children becoming weary and
fretful, we made frequent inquiries of other forlorn
looking beings whom we met, to ascertain which
farm-town in the vicinity was most likely to afford
us quarters. Jean was sorely exhausted, bearing
an infant constantly at her breast, and often carrying
the youngest boy also, who had fairly broken down
in the course of the day. It was nine o'clock when
we approached the large and comfortable-looking
steading of Balguay, standing about a quarter of a
mile off the road. Leaving my poor flock on the way-
side, I pushed down the path to the farm-house with con-
siderable confidence, for I had been informed that Bal-
guay (meaning, by this local appellation, the farmer)
was a humane man, who never turned the wanderer
from his door. Unfortunately for us, the worthy
farmer, (Playfair,) was from home, and not expected
to return that night. His housekeeper had admitted
several poor people already, and could admit no
more. I pleaded with her the infancy of my family,
the lateness of the night, and their utter unfitness
to proceed — that we sought nothing but shelter —
— that the meanest shed would be a blessing. Hea-
ven's mercy was never more earnestly pleaded for
than was a night's lodging by me on that occasion ;
but " No, no, no," was the unvarying answer to all
I returned to my family ; they had crept closer
together, and all, except the mother, were fast
" Oh, Willie, Willie! what keepit ye?" inquired
the trembling woman. " I'm dootfu' o' Jeanie," she
added ; " isna she waesome like ? Let 's in frae the
" We've nae way to gang, lass," said I, " whate'er
come o' us. Yon folk winna hae us."
Few more words passed. I drew her mantle
over the wet and chilled sleepers, and sat down
beside them. My head throbbed with pain, and
for a time became the tenement of thoughts I
would not now reveal. They partook less of sor-
row than of indignation, and it seemed to me that
this same world was a thing very much to be
hated ; and, on the whole, the sooner that one
like* me could get out of it, the better for its sake
and my own. I felt myself, as it were, shut out
from mankind — enclosed — prisoned in misery — no
outlook — none ! My miserable wife and little ones,
who alone cared for me — what would I not have
done for their sakes at that hour! Here let me
speak out — and be heard, too, while I tell it — that
the world does not at all times know how unsafely
it sits — when Despair has loosed Honour's last hold
upon the heart — when transcendent Wretchedness
lays weeping Reason in the dust — when every un-
sympathizing onlooker is deemed an enemy — who
then can limit the consequences? For my own
part, I confess that, ever since that dreadful night,
I can never hear of an extraordinary criminal,
without the wish to pierce through the mere judi-
cial view of his career, under which, I am per-
suaded, there would often be found to exist an
unseen impulse — a chain, with one end fixed in
Nature's holiest ground, that drew him on to his
The gloamin* light was scarcely sufficient to
allow me to write a note, which I carried to a
stately mansion hard by.* It was to entreat what
we had been denied at Balguay. This applica-
tion was also fruitless. The servant had been or-
dered to take in no such notes, and he could not
break through the rule. On rejoining my little
group, my heart lightened at the presence of a
serving-man, who at that moment came near, and
who, observing our wretchedness, could not*pass
without endeavouring to succour us. The kind
* Inchmartine ; but not at that time occupied by its proprietor
Mr. Allen, who was then, and is still, a minor.
words of this worthy peasant* sunk deep into our
hearts. I do not know his name; but never can
I forget him. Assisted by him, we arrived, about
eleven o'clock, at the farm-house of John Cooper,
West-town of Kinnaird, where we were immediately
admitted. The accommodation, we were told, was
poor ; but what an alternative from the storm-
beaten wayside ! The servants were not yet in bed ;
and we were permitted a short time to warm our-
selves at the bothy fire. During this interval, the
infant seemed to revive ; it fastened heartily to the
breast, and soon fell asleep. We were next led
to an out-house. A man stood by with a lantern,
while, with straw and blankets, we made a pretty
fair bed. In less than half an hour, the whole slept
sweetly in their dark and almost roofless dormi-
I think it must have been between three and four
o'clock when Jean wakened me. Oh, that scream !
— I think I can hear it now. The other children,
startled from sleep, joined in frightful wail over
their dead sister. Our poor Jeanie had, unobserved
by us, sunk during the night under the effects of
the exposure of the preceding evening, following, as
it did, a long course of hardship, too great to be
borne by a young frame. Such a visitation could
only be sustained by one hardened to misery and
* Knockespock, and I have written twice to Mr. Cooper, to know
his name, but never received an answer.
wearied of existence. I sat a while and looked on
them ; comfort I had none to give — none to take ; I
spake not — what coold he said — words ? Oh, no !
the worst is oyer when words can serve us. And
yet it is not just when the wound is given that
pain is felt. How comes it, I wonder, that minor
evils will affect even to agony, while paramount
sorrow overdoes itself, and stands in stultified calm-
ness ? Strange to say, on first becoming aware of
the bereavement of that terrible night, I sat for
some minutes gazing upwards at the fluttering and
wheeling movements of a party of swallows, our
fellow-lodgers, which had been disturbed by our
After a while, I proceeded to awaken the people
in the house, who entered at once into our feelings,
and did every thing which Christian kindness
could dictate as proper to be done on the occasion.
A numerous and respectable party of neighbours
assembled that day to assist at the funeral. In
an obscure corner of Kinnaird kirkyard lies our
favourite, little Jeanie.
Early on Monday, we resumed our heartless pil-
grimage — wandering onwards, without any settled
purpose or end. The busy, singing world above
us was a nuisance ; and around, the loaded fields
bore nothing for us — we were things apart. Nor
knew we where that night our couch might be, or
where, to-morrow, our grave. 'Tis but fair to say,
however, that our children never were ill-off during
the day-time. Where our goods were not bought,
we were, nevertheless, offered " a piece to the
bairnies." One thing which might contribute to
this was, that our appearance, as yet, was re-
spectable, and it seemed as if the people saw in
us neither the shrewd hawker nor the habitual
mendicant, so that we were better supplied with
food than had been our lot for many a month
But oh, the ever-recurring sunset ! Then came
the hour of sad conjecturing and sorrowful out-
look. To seek lodging at a farm before sunset,
was to insure refusal. After nightfall, the children,
worn out with the day's wanderings, turned fret-
ful, and slept whenever we sat down. After ex-
perience taught us cunning in this, as in other
things — the tactics of habitual vagrants being to
remain in concealment near a farm of good name,
until a suitable lateness warranted the attack. This
night, however, we felt so much in need of a com-
fortable resting-place, that it was agreed we should
make for Errol. There we settled for the night at
a house kept for the humblest description of " tra-
vellers." It is one of those places of entertainment
whose most engaging feature is the easy price. Its
inmates, unaccustomed even to the luxury of a fire,
easily enough dispense with seats ; and where five
or six people are packed up alive in one box, a
superabundance of bed-clothes would be found un-
comfortable. Hence the easy charges. Our fellow-
lodgers were of all nations, to the amount of two
dozen or so.
As it has been my lot, since then, to pass
many a night and day in similar society, and,
having somewhat of a turn for observation, my
memory could furnish many records of " gangrel
bodies," that are not altogether wanting in interest ;
but of that another time. One case, however, has,
in some points, so much of resemblance to my own,
at one period, that I would fain notice it here. At
the gloamin' hour, we entered the village of Errol
in the Carse of Gowrie. In the main street, a group
of people had gathered round a man, and stood
silent and attentive, as if expecting some display or
another. I wondered, for a moment, whether the
man was a preacher, and at a dead stop for material.
The grave and benevolent expression on his comely
face, as well as the dark hue of his apparel, misled
me so far ; and for the rest, the bewilderment of his
look certainly intimated that, whatever the employ-
ment, his lips had " closed for the season." It was
not so. I knew it all afterwards. He had been
just then singing — for the first time, singing in the
streets. I heard his song. Surely, surely, thought
I, it comes from his very heart ; such earnestness,
such sorrowful sweetness ! Misery makes niggards
of us, and at times sympathies will actually become
self-consumed ; yet the man and his " Light of
other days," haunted my fancy, even to my motley
lodgings— my caravansarie — my bield of meal-bags
and monsters. Here, aside from the coarse and
bloated inmates of oar dwelling, a respectable-look-
ing woman sat nursing a sick infant — a poor,
withered, corpse-like baby, with little of life there
but the wailing, wailing, that would not be stilled.
One or two of our neighbours seemed to sympathize
with the young and lonely mother; others grumbled
harshly to want their sleep. By-and-by, another
lodger entered. It was the man — the very singing-
man — I heard in the gloamin'. In a moment he
was in our group, leaning over his dying infant !
Now, just think of singing, and that the key-note :
I will not bother you with remarks.
" I have wearied sadly for your coming, James,"
Said the woman.
" It 's so dark out bye the nicht," he replied, " I
only faund out this door by our wean greetin'. "
Many a time, since that sad night, have I seen
him and his interesting family snug and happy at
their own hearth. A feeling unknown to the many,
sprung up between us — it endures for life — like that
of creatures who had met in a desert. Fain would
I at this moment introduce his story, for it is a sad
one — his name, his sufferings, and his amiabilities.
But no; there are minds anew in the world little
enough, cruel enough, to remind him, as they have
me, of the desolate day that was never chosen ; and
envy sufficient to blot his prosperity — to find invidi-
ous causes for his calamity — for sorrows and circum-
stances that no man would seek. With minds like
these, to be once down is never to look up again —
once humbled, nothing after is sufficiently low.
His infant died ere he left that lodging-house. In
justice to silent sufferers, as well as to the unwary
benevolent, it is well to mention here a cast of im-
posture carried on by the thoroughbred, never-give-
up, " all right " class of beggarhood. In common
tramp-houses, wherein this class mostly harbour, a
death is, in a double sense, a godsend — such, indeed,
is to them a gracious notice, even when it comes in
a "fair strae"* kind of way. But if the decease has
aught about it of the extraordinary, so as to attract
local sympathy, out of that comes a true Christmas.
Every crutch is on end — every bag hoisted — every
face stretched to the nonce, and these things spread
to every point, each wailing the loss of child, mother,
brother, sister, or wife — or all together, rather than
not melt. This and shipwrecks form a kind of
staple in the commonwealth of Gaberlunzie.
Leaving Errol next day, we passed up the Carse
to Perth, were kept there a few days by some old
acquaintances, started from thence towards Meth-
ven, sold little on the way thither, but were kindly
treated by the workers at Huntingtower and Crom-
well Park. The people there were themselves on
limited work — indeed, many of them had none ; yet
they shared their little substance with those that
* Not by foul means.
had less. It is always so; but for the poor, the
poorer would perish.
Just before entering Methven, I sold a small book
to a person breaking stones for the road. After
some conversation, I discovered he was musical, and
was strongly tempted to sell him my flute. He had
taken a fancy to it, and offered a good price. I re-
sisted ; it had long been my companion, and some-
times my solace ; and indeed, to speak truth, I had,
for some days past, attended to certain "forlorn
hope" whisperings, implying the possible necessity
of using that instrument in a way more to be la-
mented than admired. The sum total of my earthly
moneys was fivepence-halfpenny, which my little
volume had seduced from the pocket of the musical
lapidary. With this treasure, we sat by the fireside
of Mrs. L.'s lodging-house in Methven. The good
woman gave us to understand that our entertain-
ment would cost sixpence, at the same time decla-
ring it to be a standing rule in her establishment to
see payment made of all such matters before the
parties "took aff their shoon." I only wondered,
when I looked round on the bare feet that luxuriated
about her hearth, how she contrived to put this test
into execution. The demand for our lodging-money
was decided, and so was I. I took my woe-worn
partner aside, whispered her to pick my flute from
out our " budgets," put on her mantle, and follow
me. As we went along, I disclosed my purpose of
playing in the outskirts of the village. This was a
new line of action, not to be taken without some
qualms. But then the landlady ! Besides, nobler
natures, and higher names than I could ever aim at,
had betaken themselves to similar means. Homer
had sung his epics for a morsel of bread ; Gold-
smith had piped his way over half the Continent.
These were precedents indeed ! Moreover, neither
of these worthies had children in Methven or else-
where, that ever I heard of. Nor is it recorded in
the history of those great men, whether they had at
any time been under the compulsion of a landlady
who attached a special consequence to the moment
that undid the shoe-tie.
Musing over these and many other considera-
tions, we found ourselves in a beautiful green lane,
fairly out of the town, and opposite a genteel-look-
ing house, at the windows of which sat several well-
dressed people. I think that it might be our bewil-
dered and hesitating movements that attracted their
notice — perhaps not favourably.
" A quarter of an hour longer," said I, " and it
will be darker ; let us walk out a bit."
The sun had been down a good while, and
the gloamin' was lovely. In spite of everything,
I felt a momentary reprieve. I dipped my dry
flute in a little burn, and began to play. It
rang sweetly amongst the trees. I moved on and
on, still playing, and still facing the town. " The
flowers of the forest" brought me before the house
lately mentioned. My music raised one window
after another, and in less than ten minutes put me
in possession of 3s. 9d. of good British money. I
sent the mother home with this treasure, and di-
rected her to send our little girl to me. It was by
this time nearly dark. Every one says, " Things
just need a beginning." I have had a beginning,
and a very good one too. I had also a turn for
strathspeys, and there appeared to be a run upon
them. By this time I was nearing the middle of
the town. When I finally made my way, and re-
tired to my lodging, it was with five shillings and
some pence, in addition to what was given us. My
little girl got a beautiful shawl, and some articles
of wearing apparel.
Shall I not bless the good folk of Methven ? Let
me ever chance to meet a Methven weaver in dis-
tress, and I will share my last bannock with him.
These men — for I knew them, as they knew me, by
instinct — these men not only helped me themselves,
but testified their gratitude to every one that did so.
There was enough to encourage further perseve-
rance; but I felt, after all, that I had begun too
late in life ever to acquire that "ease and grace"
indispensable to him who would successfully " carry
the gaberlunzie on" I felt I must forego it, at
least in a downright street capacity. ¥
After some consideration, another mode of exer-
cising my talents for support occurred to me. I had,
ever since I remember, an irrepressible tendency to
make verses, and many of these had won applause
from my friends and fellow-workmen, so I deter-
mined to press this faculty into my service on the
present occasion. Accordingly, after sundry down-
sittings and contemplations, by waysides and in
barns, my Muse produced the following ode
TO MY FLUTE.
It's nae to harp, to lyre, nor lute,
I ettle now to sing ;
To thee alane, my lo'esome flute,
This hamely strain I bring !
Oh ! let us flee on memory's wing,
O'er twice ten winters flee,
An' try ance mair that ae sweet spring
Whilk young love breathed in thee.
Companion o' my happy then,
Wi' smilin' frien's around ;
In ilka but, in ilka ben,*
A couthie, welcome found —
Ere yet thy master proved the wound
That ne'er gaed scaithless by ;
That gi'es to flutes their saftest sound,
To hearts their saddest sigh.
Since then, my bairns hae danced to thee,
To thee my Jean has sung;
And monie a nicht, wi' guiltless glee,
Our hearty hallan rung.
Bairns, children. Hallan, roof tree. Lo'esome, beloved.
Couthie, kindly. Ilka, every. Spring, tune.
* The but is the parlour, the ben the kitchen end of every Scotch
But noo, wi' hardship worn and stung,
Til roam the warld about ;
For her and for our friendless young,
Come forth, my faithful flute !
Your artless notes may win the ear
That wadna hear me speak ;
And for your sake that pity spare,
My full heart couldna seek.
And whan the winter's cranreuch bleak
Drives houseless bodies in,
We'll ablins get the ingle-cheek,
A* for your lichtsome din.
This I designed to be printed on fine paper, with
a fly-leaf attached, and folded in the style of a note,
to be presented to none under a footman, by a
decently-dressed, modest-looking man (myself, of
course), who, after waiting ten minutes, the time
wanted to utter the " Oh, la's ! " and " Who may
he be's?" would, I expected, be asked into the
drawing-room, where the admiring circle should be
ravished with his sweet-toned minstrelsy. After
compliments sufficient for any mere man, this person
I supposed to retire with that in his pocket that
could not rightly be expended without a great deal
of prudent consideration. Such was my dream. I
accordingly proceeded to act as I had designed.
With a few copies of my poem, I set out once more
upon my travels, and, to do justice to the scheme, it
Aiblins, perhaps. Ingle cheek, chimney Lichtsome, merry
Cranreuch, piercing corner. noise,
was, on several occasions, successful to the extent
anticipated. In one laird's house I received a guerdon
of half a guinea ; but, after all, it was but beggar's
work, and my soul in time grew sick of it. It was
with no sighings after flesh-pots that, in a few weeks,
on times becoming a little better, I settled down once
more to my loom.
Weaving about a year in Aberdeen, I accidentally
obtained a job from a customary* weaver in the Ga-
rioch, a district bordering on Mar and Strathbogie,
in Aberdeenshire. This proving far more profitable
than factory work, induced me to remove my family
from Aberdeen to Inverury, a place centrical and
convenient to the call of employers in the customary
line. Nine months after our settlement here, she
died — Jean — the mother of my family — partner of
my wanderings — the unmurmuring sharer in all my
difficulties, left us — left us, too, just as the last cold
cloud was passing, ere the outbreak of a brighter
day. That cloud passed, but the warmth that fol-
lowed lost half its value to me, she being no par-
In January, 1841, precisely one year after having
taken residence at Inverury, my better star had, all
unknown to me, determined to take a turn on the
upward way. Customary work almost ceases here
at this season, and remains dull for several months.
I had been unemployed thus for two weeks. To
lull the weariness, and make away with very tedious
hours, I composed small poems on subjects that
pleased me. This I did, without a glance beyond
the selfish pleasure one finds in shaping out a fixed
and tangible abode to feelings and fancies dear to
the memory. One of these compositions I sent to
the Aberdeen Herald, and three weeks after it appeared
anonymously in that paper, ushered by a notice of
sympathy from the editor, Mr. Adam, to whom I
was then entirely unknown. This poem, No. 1 of
The Blind Boys Pranks, was copied into most
newspapers in the kingdom. With a rather full
average of human vanity in my disposition, all this,
at another time, would have been pleasing enough ;
but as it was, the first gleam of public favour had
not power to withdraw my mind from what was
before me, nor to brighten the dreary outlook.
On a cold, cold winter day of February, we sat
alone, my little ones and I, looking on the last meal
procurable by honourable means. My purpose was
settled — our wearables, such as they were, lay packed
up for the journey — Aberdeen and the House of
Refuge our next home. I felt resigned. True, we
might have breathed on a little while longer, had I
been able to worm through all the creeping intrica-
cies that lie between starvation and parish charities.
But, oh ! how preferable, surely, the unseen, silent
sadness in a House of Refuge to the thousand and
one heartless queries, taunts, and grumblings, that
accompany the Elder's " eighteenpence." Heaven
averted all these, at any rate. On the forenoon of
that same day, there came a post letter, dated
Aberdeen Journal Office. The nature of that letter
will be sufficiently understood by the following ex-
tract from that paper : —
" The beautiful verses entitled The Blind Boy's
Pranks, the production of a " Serf,"* which ap-
peared in our paper of the 20th January [copied
from the Herald, where it first appeared], are, we
doubt not, fresh in the memory of many of our
readers. It will delight them to learn that the
humble yet gifted author has not passed unnoticed
or unrewarded. We have had the pleasure of con-
veying to him, from a gentleman of this county,
(the friend of native genius,) a very substantial
token of his admiration ; and make no apology for
submitting to our readers the simple tale of thanks
with which it has been received. The genuine
spirit of poetry pervades The Blind Boy's Pranks ;
and is no less conspicuous in the lines which follow.
They cannot fail to create an interest in the welfare
of the hard-working and talented " Serf:" —
" Inverury, Feb. 7, 1841.
" Dear Sir, — I have this hour received your
kind letter, enclosing another, with five pounds,
from Knockespock. Unaccustomed— utterly un-
accustomed as I have been to such correspondents,
• The signature originally appended to the Tersei.
and with- such accompaniments, what shall I say ?
Nothing now — indeed, I cannot ; neither can I de-
lay this acknowledgment — but after hours will
speak my gratitude. That gentleman shall hear
from me soon. Meantime, I subjoin a little thing*
that happened to be in the ' loom ' when yours came
to hand. You are fairly entitled to the freshest of
my homely productions. Through your hand, for
the first time in my life, has my rhyming brought
me aught beyond 'fusionless' praise — indeed, be-
yond that, I have never hoped nor wished; but
now that, through the munificence of Knockespock,
my physical struggle is slackened, I foresee that
my pursuits (mentally) may be less fettered and
have a wider range. Oh ! sir, it is difficult for those
in other circumstances to think what a strife is his
who has to battle lip-deep in poverty, with a
motherless family and a. poetical temperament I The
last item the worst — inasmuch as it enhances ten*
fold the pain that is frequent^ and the joy that is
rare. Let sincerity atone for the want of elegance
in, " Dear Sir,
" Your grateful and obliged
" W. Thom."
" To D. Chalmers, Esq,, Aberdeen,
Editor of the Journal."
I wrote my thanks to Knockespock, as follows : —
• " Oh, Mary! when ye think of me."
WILLIAM THOM TO K.
" Inverury, March 30th, 1841.
" Honoured Sir, — I fear that I have too long
delayed the performance of a duty, which, though
not acted, has never for an hour forsaken my
thoughts. Had I been schooled in the language
of thanksgiving I would ere now have directly
acknowledged my gratitude, but I knew not how
to express the fulness of my heart, and at the same
time spare the delicacy of my benefactor. It was
just last night I thought, after all, the plain way
was the best — so I will tell you how matters stood,
and how they stand, and leave you to shape out
"That day your letter reached me, I and my
family had looked on the last meal procurable by
honourable means. I had not only resolved, but was
actually * packing up ' for Aberdeen, and the House
of Refuge — for you will know that I had not been
in this parish* long enough to entitle me to its
assistance. Indeed, had it been otherwise, I should
have preferred the unseen sadness of the * House '
to the thousand and one heartless queries of the
beadle. There were yet eight or ten weeks to pass
ere the season of ' Customary ' Weaving (to which
* It requires an industrial residence of three years in Scotland
before persons become chargeable.
alone I was bred) could commence. I might have
breathed through that space by supplication, etc.,
but the Lord averted — and when your kindness
was known it was universally admitted to be a
* Heaven-inspired act.' Had you beheld the wild
glee of my boys! had you seen the tears of their
pretty sister that day! Oh! sir, to a kind heart
there was praise indeed, sweeter than sycophant e'er
uttered, or poet sung ! Well, well, from that hour
to this we have never known want. The fuss that
followed No. 1 of The Pranks, in connection with
Knockespock's notice, at once flattered my self-love
and filled my 'cog.'* Cheerfully do I now push on —
a little bit of weaving, not so bitterly adhered to, as
has been, and now and then a job musical, for you
must know my celebrity divides between poet and
flute-player — and being attached to a local band,
we occasionally get employed in these districts.
There is a good deal of my time spent in the adjust-
ment of my womanless household, my lassie being
yet only ten — but I snatch every disposable hour,
and am industrious towards the creation of my
book, which I think may be in its calf-skin jacket
by the end of harvest. Will you, my dear sir, accept
the dedication? Oh do not deny me that bright
opportunity to at once tell the world my gratitude,
and to whose timely interference is due the exist-
ence of my simple lays. A thousand to one if ever
• A dish.
No. 2 of The Blind Boy would have seen the light,
but for the good fortune of its predecessor.
" I am, honoured Sir,
" All you would wish a poor man to be,
" Your servant,
" William Thom."
Soon after Mr. Gordon sent a letter containing
many inquiries concerning my situation and pros-
pects. My reply may be acceptable at this point
of the story, as it embodies the pith of his letter,
and exhibits that kind of family statistics which his
amiable nature seeks out, in every instance to help
and to heal. It would fill a volume what I have
witnessed of that gentleman's benevolent doings,
and of the delight he enjoys in the happiness of a
fellow-creature ; but let me speak now only of the
instance at hand. After chastising myself for not
attending more promptly to his very first commu-
nication, my reply to his second runs thus : —
" As to the long silence that ensued, I must recur
to my former plea — namely, my inability to express
my own feelings, with a certainty all the while, that
I did not trespass on those of my benefactor.
Again I sincerely ask pardon ; and let this farther
consideration plead for me, that my lowly breeding
has hid from me those nice and proper distinctions
recognised by people of education and superior
training — even now, I know not, thus speaking,
how far I may commit myself, and I beg leave to
proceed to the queries as they stand in your letter,
replying to all in single-hearted sincerity.
" ' What was you bred to f Born in Aberdeen, the son
of a widow unable to keep me at home idle, I was,
when ten years of age, placed in a public factory, where
I served an apprenticeship of four years, at the end
of which I entered another great weaving establish-
ment, ' Gordon, Barron, and Co.,' where I con-
tinued seventeen years. During my apprenticeship
I had picked up a little reading and writing. After-
wards set about studying Latin — went so far, but
was fairly defeated through want of time, &c. —
having the while to support my mother, who was
getting frail. However, I continued to gather
something of arithmetic and music, both of which I
have mastered so far as to render further progress
easy did I see it requisite. I play the German flute
tolerably in general subjects, but in my native me-
lodies, lively or pathetic, to few will I lay it down.
I have every Scotch song that is worth singing;
and though my vocal capability is somewhat limited,
I can convey a pretty fair idea of what a Scotch
song ought to be.
" So much for ' acquirements. 9 You next ask my
4 age and state of health? 9 I am forty-two — my
health not robust but evenly ; a lameness of one
leg, occasioned by my being, when in infancy,
crushed under the wheel of a carriage. This unfits
me for work requiring extra personal strength ; and
indeed it is mostly owing to little mechanical ap-
pliances of my own contriving, that I am enabled
to subject the more laborious parts of my calling to
the limits of my very stinted bodily power.
"' The number and age of my family ¥ Three —
Elizabeth, aged ten and a half years, William eight,
and James five.
" My wife died in childbed, last November ; my
girl does the best she can by way of housekeeper ;
the boys are at school. I cannot spare the lassie, so
she gets a lesson at home.
" * Description of my dwelling' — I occupy two trim
little garrets in a house belonging to Sir Robert
Elphinstone, lately built on the market stance of
Inverury. We have everything required in our
humble way ; perhaps our blankets pressed a little
too lightly during the late severe winter, but then
we crept closer together — that is gone — 'tis summer
now, and we are hopeful that next winter will bring
" ' Means of Living 9 — employed seven or eight
months yearly in customary weaving — that is, a
country weaver who wants a journeyman sends
for me. I assist in making bedding, shirting, and
other household stuffs. When his customers are
served, I am discharged, and so ends the season.
During that time I earn from ten to twelve shillings
a week ; pay the master generally four shillings for
my * keep/ and remit the rest to my family. In
this way, we moved on happy enough. Ambition,
or something like it, would now and then whisper
me into discontent. But now, how blest would I
deem myself had I my beloved partner again, and
the same difficulties to retrace. I eke out the blank
portions of the season by going into a factory.
Here the young and vigorous only can exceed six
shillings weekly. This alone is my period of priva-
tion; however, it is wonderful how nicely we get
on. A little job now and then, in the musical way,
puts all right again. I don't drink, as little at any
rate as possible. I have been vain enough to set
some value on my mind, and it being all that I pos-
sess now, and the only thing likely to put me in
possession of aught afterwards, I would not wil-
lingly drown it.
"'My Books* — I have few of my own — pick
up a loan where it can be had: so of course
my reading is without choice or system. Your
question with regard to * Religion' — I believe
in God, and in Christ the Saviour of mankind. —
' What do I look forward to in life? 9 Lately I looked
to nothing but increasing labour and decreasing
strength — interminable toil and ultimate starvation
— such is the fate of nine-tenths of my brethren —
but now daylight breaks on my destiny. Since you
wrote me, my verses have attracted the notice of
several literary gentlemen in Edinburgh, who have
tendered friendship to me, and are to use their
influence in my behalf in the event of my publish-
ing. Mr. M., of the Weekly Chronicle, has fre-
quently mentioned me in kindness.* Hence I
dream of making my ' escape' from the loom ; and
of being enabled to pull my little ones out from
amongst 'folk's feet.' I fully appreciate your
friendly counsel regarding premature publication,
and shall attend to it ; also to the selection of sub-
jects, but I would not be diverted from my original
purpose anent the dedication to you. God knows,
I have been taught the value of a shilling,, but have
never yet stooped to an unbecoming action to ob-
tain one ; and although they were in my neighbour-
hood (as I don't know if they are) that would better
mef — yet, sir, permit me to abide by my first
" I had nearly forgot that you ask me whether I
possess c Good common sense as well as poetical abi-
lity?' Well, really, sir, I cannot say: most people
erect their own standard in that matter, and gene-
* Literature, when pursued as a profession, confers dignity on its
votary ; but when, as in the case of the amiable and gifted Thorn
of Inverury, Aberdeenshire, and many others of his class similarly
situated, it is resorted to amid the little relaxation which a laborious
profession allows, we confess we reverence that man who can thus
vindicate the superiority of mind over matter. Many are content to
eat, to sleep, and do a little work again ; the day-spring conveys to
such minds no other feeling than that they must rise and work ; and
the evening closes around them and glads their dull faculties with
only the visions of a supper and a bed. This is the animal, the vege-
table life which but too many live, to the utter abasement of intellect
and elevated feeling." — Edinburgh Weekly Chronicle, Feb. 1841.
f KnockespOck had suggested to me that there might be others
to whom I might dedicate more advantageously than to him.
rally award to themselves a pretty fair share ; and
few are found grumbling with the distributioii. I
have looked as closely as my degree permitted,
upon man, his ways and his wishes, and I have
tasted in my own experience some of life's bitterest
tastings ; hence I have obtained some shrewd
glimpses of what calls common sense into action,
and what follows the action wherein common sense
has no share.
" You speak of * respectable references : ' Dr.
Thomson here has known me these two years,
being the amount of my residence in this place;
Mr. M'Naughtan, manager to Gordon, Barron, &
Co., Aberdeen. To these I can refer, and if they
do not call me a good, I dare them to call me a bad
man. By the way, I have never sought to culti-
vate an acquaintance amongst those not in my
immediate degree, and am little known : my hands
recommended me to my employers, and beyond
that I seldom thought.* I am, &c, &c,
" William Thom."
I received another note from Knockespock, the
tenor of which may be best gathered from my reply
* Let it be remembered that these questions were put to the Poet,
from no idle curiosity or intolerance, but to ascertain if the situation
of a Schoolmaster would suit him,
J. A. G.
"Aberdeen, April 29, 1841.
" Honoured Sir, — Your letter, with its enclosure*
reached me on the 27th. I immediately set about
the arrangements pointed out to me, so my lassie
and I are thus far on the way to London, very
much delighted with every thing and every body,
the world and all therein lovelier than before, just
because we are happy, — " thereby hangs a tale." I
could philosophize, and speak of the unseen sym-
pathies that exist between the breeches pocket and
Nature's " lovely green." Well, we left our little
kinsfolks, Will and Jamie, very ill at heart, and I
thought never to have got Betsy and William
parted : indeed, sir, I once thought of fetching him
along. I am content to know that they will be
well looked to. I procured a careful and decent
female to keep house, and laid in sufficiency for two
months' comfort. There is something in your
doings in regard of me that has struck every body
in this quarter. There is in it so much of what
might be termed the romance of reality. Do you
remember how matters stood with me when I got
your first letter? Well, I was, when this one
came, on my way to Pitmachie to resume my toils of
the "season;" aye, sir, and very very thankful
indeed for the "chance of getting employment."
I cannot " prepare " to write, therefore it is to be
hoped you will excuse my " off-loof " way.
" Your most obedient and humble servant,
" W. Thom/*
Ten days after, I and little Betsy were dashing
along in a handsome carriage through the streets
of London. Here was a change sufficient to turn
the head of a bewildered weaver. Under the roof of
my kind friends Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, I remained
upwards of four months, and paid great attention to
all I saw and heard. I was introduced to many of
the master minds of yon great city. In the studio
of Sir Francis Chantrey, I conversed with the la-
mented Allan Cunningham. I have listened to
the eloquence, and heard the nonsense of those who
give laws to the people. I saw Majesty and Misery,
and many of the paths between. Many a pleasure
was put within my power ; and many are the delights
of happy England, and kind the hearts therein;
yet I longed for Scotland, and am again upon my
heather, and at my loom. Alas ! for the loom,
though ! Hitherto it has been to me the ship on
which I voyaged o'er life — Happiness and Hardship
alternate steersmen — the Lyre and a light heart my
fellow-passengers. Now, amid the giant waves of
monopoly, the solitary loom is fast sinking. Thus
must the Lyre, like a hencoop, be thrown on the
wrecking waters, to float its owner ashore.
THE BLIND BOY'S PRANKS.
[" The following beautiful Stanzas are by a correspondent,
who subscribes himself k A Serf *,' and declares that he has to
weave fourteen hours out of the four-and~twenty. We trust his
daily toil will soon be abridged, that he may have more leisure
to devote to an art in which he shows so much natural genius
and cultivated taste."— Aberdeen Herald, Feb. 1841.]
" I '11 tell some ither time, quo* he,
How we love an* laugh in the north countrie."
Men grew sae cauld, maids sae unkind,
Love kentna whaur to stay.
Wi' fient an arrow, bow, or string, —
Wi' droopin' heart an' drizzled wing,
He faught his lanely way.
Cauld, cold. Ither, other. Sae, so.
Faught, battled. Kentna, knew not. Whaur, where.
Fient, deuce. Lanely, lonely.
54 THE BLIND BOY'S PRANKS.
" Is there nae mair, in Garioch fair,
Ae spotless hame for me ?
Hae politics, an' corn, an' kye,
Ilk bosom stappit ? Fie, O fie !
I'll swithe me o'er the sea."
He launched a leaf o' jessamine,
On whilk he daured to swim,
An' pillowed his head on a wee rosebud,
Syne laithfu', lanely, Love 'gan scud
Down Ury's # waefu' stream.
The birds sang bonnie as Love drew near,
But dowie when he gaed by ;
Till lull'd wi' the sough o' monie a sang,
He sleepit fu' soun' and sailed alang
'Neath Heav'n's gowden sky !
'Twas just whaur creeping Ury greets
Its mountain cousin Don,
There wandered forth a weelfaur'd deme,
Wha listless gazed on the bonnie stream,
As it flirted an' played with a sunny beam
That flickered its bosom upon.
Ae, one. Kye, cattle. Stappit, crammed.
Deme, dame, Laithfu', reluctant. Swithe, hasten.
Dowie, sorrowfully. Mair, more. Syne, then.
Fu' soun',/uW sound. Monie, many. Waefu', woeful, [oured
Hae, have. Nae, no. Weelfaur'd, well fav-
Hame, home. Sough, sound. Whaur, where.
* The Ury, a small stream, at the junction of which with the Don
THE BLIND BOY'S PRANKS. 55
Love happit his head, I trow, that time,
The jessamine bark drew nigh,
The lassie espied the wee rosebud,
An' aye her heart gae thud for thud,
An' quiet it wadna lie.
* O gin I but had yon wearie wee flower
That floats on the Ury sae fair !"
She lootit her hand for the silly rose-leaf,
But little wist she o' the pawkie thief,
Was lurkin' an* laughin' there !
Love glower'd when he saw her bonnie dark e'e,
An' swore by Heaven's grace
He ne'er had seen, nor thought to see,
Since e'er he left the Paphian lea,*
Sae lovely a dwallin' place !
E'e, eye. Happit, covered. Wadna, would not.
Gae thud for thud, gave Lootit, put down. Wearie, troublesome.
beat for beat. Pawkie, sly. Wee, little.
Glower'd, gazed wildly
* " Paphos, a very ancient city of Cyprus. It was celebrated for
its beautiful temple of Venus, built on the spot where she landed
when she rose from the sea. There were one hundred altars in her
temple, which smoked daily, with a profusion of frankincense, and
though exposed to the open air, they were never wetted by rain.
Annual festivals were held here in honour of the goddess, and her
oracle, which was connected with the temple, acquired for it consi-
THE BLIND BOY 8 PRANKS.
Syne, first of a', in her blythesome breast,
He built a bower, I ween ;
An' what did the waefu' devilick neist ?
But kindled a gleam like the rosy east,
That sparkled frae baith her een.
An* then beneath ilk high e'e bree
He placed a quiver there ;
His bow ? What but her shinin' brow ?
An' O sic deadly strings he drew
Frae out her silken hair.
Guid be our guard ! sic deeds waur deen,
Roun' a' our countrie then ;
An' monie a hangin' lug was seen
'Mang farmers fat, an' lawyers lean,
An' herds o' common men !
THE BLIND BOY'S PRANKS.
Love roam'd awa frae Uryside,
Wi' bow an' barbet keen,
Nor car'd a gowan whaur he gaed ;
" Auld Scotland's mine, howe, heath, and glade,
And I '11 trock that wi' nane.
" Yon Ury damsel's diamond e'e,
I 've left it evermair ;
She gied her heart unkent to me ;
Now prees what wedded wichts maun pree,
When I 'm wwpriested there.
" That time by Ury's glowing stream,
In sunny hour we met ;
A lichter beild, a kinder hame
Than in the breast o' that fair dame,
I '11 never, never get.
Awa frae, away from. Gied, gave. Prees, proves.
Barbet, arrow. Hame, home. Trock, barter.
Beild, shelter. Howe, valley. Unkent, unknown.
Evermair, evermore. Lichter, lighter, Whaur, whither.
Gaed, went. WLwm,must. Wichts, worthies.
58 THE BLIND BOY'S PRANKS.
" I kenn'd her meet wi' kindly say,
A lov'd, a lowly name ;
The heartless ruled poor Jean — an' they
Hae doom'd a loveless bride, for aye
To busk a loveless hame.
" I'll seek bauld BenacmVs proud pow,
Grey king of common hills !
And try hoo bodies' hearts may lowe
Beneath thy shadeless, shaggy brow,
Whaur dance a hundred rills."
Now trampin' bits, now fleein' miles,
Frae aff the common road,
To keek at cadgers loupin' stiles,
Wha try the virtue an' the wiles
Of maidens lichtly shod.
He passed Pittodrie's haunted wood,*
Whaur devils dwalt langsyne ;
He heard the Ury's timid flood,
An' Gadie's heigh an' hurrit scud,
In playfu' sweetness twine.
Bauld, bold. Hae, have. Lichtly shod, bare*
Busk, dress. Hoo, how. footed.
Cadgers, country car- Keek, look. Lowe, blaze.
riers. Kenn'd, knew. Pow, head.
Heigh an' hurrit, loud Langsyne, long ago. Say, words.
and rapid. Loupin', leaping. Whaur, where.
* Among the many pretty legends and stories that affix to almost
every hill and water, wood and howe of the Garioch, the following
is often heard: — Upon a time far, far gone hy, a Caledonian
THE BLIND BOy's PRANKS. 59
An' there he saw (for Love has een,
Tho' whiles nae gleg at seeing
He saw an* kenn'd a kind auld frien\
Wha wander'd ghaistlike an* alane,
Forsaken, shunn'd, an' deein'.
Auld, old. Ghaistlike, ghostlike. Nae gleg at seein', not
Deein', dying. Kenn'd, knew. quicksighted.
demon took a fancy, to amuse himself awhile in the neighbour*
hood of Benachie — a portion of our world he had scarcely looked
upon since the bloody game of Harlaw. To put matters astirring
again in his own way, he took a stroll into the woods of Pittodrie.
There let him walk, while we take a hasty look at those upon whom
he is said to have recommenced his dark doings.
The boasted beauty of five parishes was the " Maiden of Drum*,
durno." A farmer's only daughter she — a cantie, clever, hame-
bred Scotch lassie. Three notions, in particular, appear to have held
uppermost keeping in her bonnie brow — to-wit, that her father ha(J
the sharpest outlook, Benachie the highest tap, and her ain Jamie,
the kindest heart in the whole world.
Aware (and why not?) of her own personal loveliness, she wisely
made all within as fair and fitting. She lived a creature full of soul
— her breast the tenement of love and happiness—gaiety and tender-
ness hovered in her eye, like watchful spirits, ready to minister —
waiting, as it were, just to see what was wanted — a laugh or a tear.
Many, many had wooed — one, at last, had won her. The unsuccess-
ful went, each according to his way, in these cases— some sighing,
some drawing comfort from a new purpose, some from an old pipe-
all, however, wishing happy days to the betrothed " Maiden of
Drumdurno." One alone — one fed the hope of vengeance — one grim,
horse- shoe-hearted rascal of a smith. Parish smith and precentor,
too, he was. This rejected ruffian watched that night in Pittodrie
woods, in thought that " Jamie'* would, as usual, in leaving Drum-
durno, pass that way. ' • Oh, that my eternal destruction could plague
their earthly peace," cried he, "how soon and sure the bargain
would be mine \" " Capital wish l" cried the seducer of Eve, " I '11
do the thing for you on your own conditions. " Perpetual vassalage
on the part of the "red wud" smith-— written desolation to the
60 THE BLIND BOy's PRANKS.
Her look ance gay as gleams o' gowd
Upon a silvery sea ;
Now dark an' dowie as the cloud
That creeps athwart yon leafless wood,
In cauld December's e'e.
Dowie, cheerless, Nae, no.
luckless lovers of Drumdurno, was compact and settlement that night
in the black woods of Pittodrie. • • * The bonniest and the'
blythest lass within sight of Benachie was drifting up the bridal
baking — and the bridal and the bannocks " baith her ain." "it
sets ye weel to work, lass, gin ye had onie mair speed at it." This
compound of taunt and compliment was uttered by a stranger who
had been hanging on about the kitchen, the last hour or so — a queer
rollicking, funny, lump of a " roader," and, by his own story, in
search of work. " I kenna whether it sets me or no," quoth the
maiden, "but I think nane could grudge wi* my speed." It is
clear by this, that the complimentary portion of the stranger's re-
mark had found its way. Alas! the pitiable truth! Alas! for
humanity ! When it would be flattered, the poison is more surely
imparted beneath the roughest coverture. In faulting that which
is blameless, the flatterer assumes the hue and weight of honesty, and
works securely there.
The jest and banter was exchanged, with mingled glee and ear-
nestness, till at length the lass, all thoughtlessly, was inveigled into
the fatal wager. The terms of that fearful agreement are stated at
varied points of the horrible. The most temperate reciters insist
that hb undertook to "lay" a road from bottom to top of Benachie
ere she baked up her flrlot of meal. The forfeiture hazarded on his
part is not on record. Most likely the light-hearted, happy bride
regarded the whole as one of the merry jokes that rang from that
merry old man, and heeded not exacting conditions in a matter she
conceived to be impossible. Her part of the pledge, however, was,
" that she became his oum if the road is laid ere the meal be baken."
* * * Now, now, the last bannock is on the girdle, but for the
past hour her mind was filling, in the gush of that tearful sweetness
that pours o'er the heart of a willing bride, so the hill, the road,
the wager, old man and all— all were forgotten— all overshaded that
THE BLIND BOY'S PRANKS. 61
Hear ye the heartsick soun's that fa'
Frae lips that bless nae mair ?
Like beildless birdies when they ca 1
Frae wet, wee wing the batted snaw,
Her sang soughs o' despair.
£>ong of tie jf omfeen.
My cheek is faded sair, love,
An* lichtless fa's my e'e ;
My breast a' lane and bare, love,
Has aye a beild for thee.
An' lichtless fa's my Beildless, unsheltered. Lane, lone.
e'e, my look is dis- Ca', shake off. Mair, more.
regarded. ¥a.*,fall. Soughs, sounds.
Batted, hardened. Frae, from. Soun's, sounds.
shared of earth — but one — one only, one darling thought The hour
of tryst was near. The lowering, gloomy-like fall of the night dis-
mayed her, and she looked wistfully at the cloud settling on the hill.
" Its nae that, nor mony siclike '11 gar him bide frae me ; but I'm
wae to see him weet. God of my heart," she cried, " what's yon I
see!" * * * The road is to be seen to this day. She fled
towards the woods of Pittodrie, pursued. The prayer she could
not utter was answered. With the last bound the demon grasped
a stone. Such the transformed bride. So she stands there even
And quick the pace, and quick the pulse,
Wha wanders there alane,
Atween Pittodrie's drearie wood
An' the dowie " maiden's stane."
62 THB BUND BOY'S PRANKS.
My breast, though lane and bare,
The hame o' cauld despair,
Yet ye 've a dwallin' there,
A' darksome though it be.
Yon guarded roses glowin',
Its wha daur min't to pu' ?
But aye the wee bit gowan
Ilk reckless hand may strew.
An' aye the wee, wee gowan,
Unsheltered, lanely growin',
Unkent, uncared its ruin,
Sae marklessly it grew.
An' am I left to rue, then,
Wha ne'er kent Love but thee ;
An' gae a love as true, then,
As woman's heart can gie ?
But can ye cauldly view,
A bosom burstin' fu' ?
An' hae ye broken noo,
The heart ye sought frae me ?
Cauldly, coldly. Ilk, each. Sae, so.
Daur, dare. Kent, knew. Unkent, unknown.
Dwallin', house. Lanely, lonely. We bit gowan, little
Gae, gave. Min't, venture. field daisy.
Gie, give. Pu', pluck* Wha, who.
THE BLIND BOY'S PRANKS.
By the lowe o* a lawyer's ingle bricht,
Wi' gruesome looks an* dark,
The Deil sat pickin' his thum's ae nicht
Frae evendoun want o' wark.
At length in the learn'd lug to hark
He cannilie screw'd him roun',
Syne claw'd his elbow an* leuch to mark
The lang-leaft buik brocht doun.
Wi* outshot een, o'er leaf an' line,
Sae keenly did they leuk,
An* oh ! there was ae waefu' sign
Within that wearie buik,
Ae, one. Hark, whisper. Lug, ear,
Bricht, bright. Ingle, chimney corner, Nicht, night,
Buik, booh, Lang-leaft buik brocht Sae, so.
Cannilie, slily. doun, ledger brought Syne, then,
Chiel, fellow, down, Waeful, woeful.
Evendoun, downright, Leuk, look, Wearie, troublesome.
Frae,/row. Leuch, laughed. Wark, work.
Gruesome, loathsome, Lowe, blaze.
64 THE BLIND BOy's PRANKS.
Whan Hornie gae his mou a cruik
An' whisper'd, " Look ye, here's
A crafter* carl upon our hook
Ahint these twa c ha'f years.'
" Gae harry him, man, an' gar him dee
The lave is your's an' mine ;
His daisy dochter's scornfu' e'e
Will blink less saucy syne.
In beinless wa's just lat her pine,
Sic lanesome hardships pree ;
An' here 's my loof the haughty quean
Will fa' afore she flee."
Love heard, an' skonnart wi' the plot
Swore grey the very moon,
That he would hae the lawyer shot*
An' gar the ither droun.
He flaft his wing o'er brae, an' boun'
O'er field and forest wide ;
In lowly biggin lichted doun
An' knelt by Annie's side.
Ahint these twa ' ha'f Cruik, twist. In, within.
years, behind in his Daisy, darling, Lanesome, I
rent two terms. Dochter, daughter. Lave, rest .
Beinless wa's, comfort- Droun, drown. Loof, hand.
less walls. Flaft, flapp'd. Mou, mouth.
Biggin, building. Gae harry, go ruin. Pree, prove.
Blink, look, Gar him dee, make him Sic, such.
Boun', bounded. die. Skonnart, disgusted.
Crafter carl, crofter Gar, make. Syne, then.
man. Hae, have.
* A crofter is one who holds a four or five acre piece of land, and
THE BLIND BOy's PHANKS. 65
O, whaur is love maist lovely seen ?
In timorous glances stealing —
Half-hid, half-own'd, in diamond e'en
The soul-fraught look revealing ?
No ; see it there — a daughter kneeling
A father's sickbed near,
With uprais'd heart to heaven appealing,
That — that's the look for angel's wear !
Annie, sic look was thine that nicht,
Yon waesome watchfu' hour ;
The man o' buiks thow'd at the sicht —
He tint a' pith an' pow'r.
Auld Hornie then forthwith 'gan scour
By heicht an' howe — an' then
At Cardin's brig* he tumbl't o'er
An' never raise again.
The lanefu' lawyer held his breath,
An' word micht utter nane ;
But lookit aye — grew aye mair laith
To blaud her bonnie een.
Blaud, blear, Mair laith, more loath. Sic, such.
Buiks, books. Micht, might* Sicht, sight.
Heicht an' howe, hill Nicht, night. Thow'd, melted,
and dale. Pith, strength* Tint a', lost all.
Lanefu', forlorn. Raise, rose. Waesome, dreary.
* Cardin's brig over the Gadie, to the west of Logie, Elphin-
66 THE BLIND BOY's TRANKS.
Love threw a shaft, sae sure an' keen,
It trembled in his heart ;
An' micht I deem, altho' a stane
Had dwallin' in the part.
Syne, slow an' dowie, wending hame,
Wi' cares unkent afore,
His heart a' sinkin' doun wi' shame —
Wi' new love gushin' o'er.
By buik or bond he held nae store,
For bound eneuch was he ;
Nor could he read aucht ither lore
Than beam'd in yon bricht e'e.
A saftness hangs on ilka word ;
A wish on ilka hour ;
A sang is soucht fra' every bird,
A sich frae every flower.
Now briefs forsaken, rot an' sour —
A sonnet rules a summons ;
E'en Blackstone's weighty wit maun cour
To far mair weighty woman's.
Aucht ither, ought Mair, more. Unkent s£ore,unknovm
other. Maun cour, must yield, before.
Bricht e'e, bright eye. Sich, sigh. Wending hame, wart-
like, every. Syne, then, dering home.
OCCASIONED BY THE SUDDEN DEATH OP COUNT JOHN LESLIE
OF BALQUHAIN AND FETTERNEIB.
Beloved by all — cut off in the dawn of manhood — he was borne to
the grave by a weeping tenantry,
Oh, why ? but God alone knows why —
Do churls cling aye to earth ;
While the brave and the just, and the generous die,
The hour that owns their worth ?
Alas ! and woe ! — so sad — so true,
The blink that's brightest — briefest too.
'T was a dolfu' dawn yon morning saw
On the turrets of brown Balquhain;
68 LINES ON
When the Leslie lay on red Harlaw
" Wi' his six good sons a* slain."*
But nane less leal the sigh and the tear,
And the waesome hearts 'round Fetterneir.
* In 1411, Donald of the Isles marched towards Aberdeen, the
inhabitants of which were in dreadful alarm at the near ap-
proach of this marauder and his fierce hordes; but their
fears were allayed by the speedy appearance of a well-equipped
army, commanded by the Earl of Mar, who bore a high mili-
tary character, assisted by many brave knights and gentlemen in
Angus and the Mearns. Advancing from Aberdeen, Mar marched
by Inverury, and descried the Highlanders stationed at the village of
Harlaw, on the water of Ury near its junction with the Don. Mar
soon saw that he had to contend with tremendous odds, but although
his forces were, it is said, as one to ten to that opposed to him, he re-
solved, from the confidence he had in his steel-clad knights, to risk a
battle. Having placed a small but select body of knights and men.
at-arms in front, under the command of the constable of Dundee and
the sheriff of Angus, the Jforl drew up the main strength of his army
in the rear, including the Murrays, the Straitons, the Maules, the
Irvings, the Lesleys, the Lovels, the Stirlings, headed by their re-
spective chiefs. The Earl then placed himself at the head of this
body. At the head of the Islesmen and Highlanders was the Lord of
the Isles, subordinate to whom were Mackintosh and Maclean and
other Highland chiefs, all bearing the most deadly hatred to their
Saxon foes. On a signal being given, the Highlanders and Islesmen,
setting up those terrific shouts and yells which they were accustomed
to raise on entering into battle, rushed forward upon their opponents ;
but they were received with great firmness and bravery by the
knights, who, with their spears levelled, and battle-axes raised, cut
down many of their impetuous but badly armed adversaries. After
the Lowlanders had recovered themselves from the shock which the
furious onset of the Highlanders had produced, Sir James Scrymgeour,
at the head of the knights and bannerets who fought under him, cut
his way through the thick columns of the Islesmen, carrying death
every where around him ; but the slaughter of hundreds by this brave
party did not intimidate the Highlanders, who kept pouring in by
thousands to supply the place of those who had fallen. Surrounded
on all sides, no alternative remained for Sir James and his valorous
companions but victory or death, and the latter was their, lot. The
COUNT JOHN LESLIE. 69
Don's waters deftly wandered on,
Sae wantonly and sae clear ;
And dazzling danced beneath the sun
That gleam'd o'er Fetterneir.
While the lov'd of the land is bounding away,
Like his own bold stream — to the risen day.
constable of Dundee was amongst the first who suffered, and his fall
so encouraged the Highlanders, that seizing and stabbing the horses,
they thus unhorsed their riders, whom they despatched with their
daggers. In the mean time the Earl of Mar, who had penetrated
with his main army into the very heart of the enemy, kept up the
unequal contest with great bravery, and, although he lost during the
action almost the whole of his army, he continued the fatal struggle
with a handful of men till nightfall. The disastrous result of this
battle was one of the greatest misfortunes which had ever happened
to the numerous respectable families in Angus and the Mearns.
Many of these families lost not only their head, but every male in
the house. Andrew Lesley, third Laird of Balquhain, is said to
have fallen, with six of his sons (the Laurus Lesleana says eleven,
and that he himself fell some years after in a battle at Brakoe,
killed by the sheriff of Angus, 1420.) Isabel Mortimer, his wife,
founded a chaplainry in the Chapel of Garioch, and built a cross
called Leslie's Cross, to their memory. Besides Sir James
Scrymgeour, Sir Alexander Ogilvy, the sheriff of Angus, with
his eldest son George Ogilvy, Sir Thomas Murray, Sir Robert
Maule of Panmure, Sir Alexander Irving of Drum, Sir William
Abernethy of Salton, Sir Alexander Straiten of Lauriston, James
Lovel, and Alexander Stirling, and Sir Robert Davidson, pro-
vost of Aberdeen, with five hundred men-at-arms, including
the principal gentry of Buchan, and the greater part of the
burgesses of Aberdeen who followed their provost, were among
the slain. The Highlanders left nine hundred men dead on the
field of battle, including the chiefs, Maclean and Mackintosh. This
memorable battle was fought on the eve of the feast of St. James
the Apostle, the 24th day of July, in the year 1411, " and from the
ferocity with which it was contested, and the dismal spectacle of
civil war and bloodshed exhibited to the country, it appears to have
made a deep impression on the national mind. It fixed itself in the
music and the poetry of Scotland ; a march, called ' the Battle of
Harlaw,' continued to be a popular air down to the time of Drum-
70 LINES ON
O bid him bide — ye birdies that sing ! —
Or bid him nae fend sae fast —
Haud back your tears ye witchfu' spring
Wha's waters weird his last.*
mond of Hawthornden, and a spirited ballad, on the same event, is
still repeated in our age, describing the meeting of the armies, and
the deaths of the chiefs, in no ignoble strain." Mar and the few
brave companions in arms who survived the battle, were so ex-
hausted with fatigue and the wounds they received, that they were
obliged to pass the night on the field of battle, where they expected
a renewal of the attack next morning ; but when morning dawned,
they found that the Lord of the Isles had retreated, during the
night, by Inverury and the hill of Benachie. To pursue him was
impossible, and he was therefore allowed to retire, without molesta-
tion, and to recruit his exhausted strength. The site of the battle is
thus described in the manuscript Geographical Description of Scot-
land collected by Macfarlane, and preserved in the Advocates'
Library [Vol. i. p. 7.] : " Through this parish (the Chapel of
Garioch, formerly called Capella Beatee Mariee Virginia de Gar-
ryoch) runs the king's highway from Aberdeen to Inverness, and
from Aberdeen to the high country. A large mile to the east of the
church lies the field of an ancient battle called the battle of Harlaw,
from a country town of that name hard by. This town, and the
field of battle, which lies along the king's highway upon a moor,
extending a short mile from south-east to north-west, stands on the
north-east side of the water of Urie, and a small distance therefrom.
To the west of the field of battle, about half a mile, is a farmer's
house called Legget's Den, hard by, in which is a tomb, built in the
form of a malt-steep, of four large stones, covered with a broad
stone above, where, as the country people generally report, Donald
of the Isles lies buried, being slain in the battle, and therefore they
call it commonly Donald's Tomb." This is an evident mistake, as it
is well known that Donald was not slain. Mr. Tytler conjectures
with much probability that the tomb alluded to may be that of the
chief of Maclean or Mackintosh, and he refers, in support of this
opinion, to Macfarlane's Genealogical Collections, in which an ac-
count is given of the family of Maclean, and from which it appears
* The Count's death was occasioned by his incautiously drinking cold
spring water, he being then over-heated, whilst shooting on the hills.
COUNT JOHN LESLIE. 71
But away and away — he bodes a bier,
For the woods look fay 'round Fetterneir. *
We lend no lay to living man —
Nor sing for fee or fear ;
Our cheek tho' pale, yet never faun'
The stain of a mimic tear.
In truth we mourn the bud that sprung,
Unblossom'd — blighted — fair and young.
that Lauchlan Lubanich had, by Macdonald's daughter, a son, called
Eachin Rusidh ni Cath, or Hector Rufus Bellicosus, who com-
manded as lieutenant-general under the Earl of Ross at the battle of
Harlaw, when he and Irving of Drum, seeking out one another by
their armorial bearings on their shields, met and killed each other.
This Hector was married to a daughter of the Earl of Douglas.
* Fetterneir, once a summer seat of the bishops of Aberdeen. Wal-
lace is said to have slept there one night ; hence part of it is called
Wallace's Tower. At the Reformation this manor was given to the
Lesleys of Balquhain (pronounced Balwine), for their assistance to
the Earl of Huntly in protecting the Cathedral of Aberdeen from the
fury of the Reformers. It is the burial-place of the Lesleys.
The family of the Lesleys is five hundred and eighty years' stand-
ing; Sir George, the founder, having got the lands of Balquhain
from King David the Second in 1340. There had been four counts
of this family, the last now living (1650) at the Emperor's court.
The first of these counts was Walter, youngest son to John, tenth
laird of Balquhain, by his third wife, who having, in A.D. 1634,
killed Count Wallenstein, the Emperor's general, was made a
colonel of the Guards, created Count Lesley, Field Marshal, Privy
Councillor, Governor of Sclavonia, and by Leopold the First sent
ambassador to Constantinople, having just before been made Knight
of the Golden Fleece. He died in 1667, at Vienna.
About half a mile to the south-east of the church is to be seen the
old ruinous Castle of Balquhain. In it Queen Mary spent a day on
her journey to the north, which terminated in the battle of Corrichie.
The only remains of the building are a few shattered fragments of the
court or quadrangle of which it at one time consisted, and the noble
square tower or keep, which was erected about the year 1530 to
replace the more ancient castle, which had been burned down in a
memorable feud with the Forbeses in the year 1526.
WHISPERINGS FOR THE UNWASHED.
" Tyrants make not slaves— slaves make tyrants."
Scene— A Town in the North. Time— Six o'clock morning.
Enter Town Drummer.*
Rubadub, rubadub, row-dow-dow !
The sun is glinting on hill and knowe,
An' saft the pillow to the fat man's pow —
Sae fleecy an' warm the guid " hame-made"
An* cozie the happin o' the farmer's bed.
The feast o' yestreen how it oozes through,
In bell an' blab on his burly brow.
Nought recks he o' drum an' bell,
The girnal's fou an' sure the " sale ;"
Bell an' blab, sweat Glinting, beaming. Laird, landlord.
drop. Hame-made, blanket Pow, head.
Yon, full. Happin, covering. Yestreen, last night.
Girnal, meal bin. Knowe, knoll.
* In most of the small boroughs of the north of Scotland there
is a town drummer, who parades at five in the summer and six
o'clock in the winter. In Nairn a man blows a cow-horn.
WHISPERINGS FOR THE UNWASHED. 73
The laird an* he can crap an keep* —
Weel, weel may he laugh in his gowden sleep.
His dream abounds in stots, or full
Of cow an* corn, calf an' bull ;
Of cattle shows, of dinner speaks —
Toom, torn, and patch'd like weavers' breeks ;
An' sic like meaning hae, I trow,
As rubadub, rubadub, row-dow-dow.
Rubadub, rubadub, row-dow-dow !
Hark, how he waukens the Weavers now !
Wha lie belair'd in a dreamy steep —
A mental swither 'tween death an' sleep —
Wi' hungry wame, and hopeless breast,
Their food no feeding, their sleep no rest.
Arouse ye, ye sunken, unravel your rags,
No coin in your coffers, no meal in your bags ;
Yet cart, barge, and waggon, with load after load,
Creak mockfully, passing your breadless abode.
The stately stalk of Ceres bears,
But not for you, the bursting ears ;
In vain to you the lark's lov'd note,
For you no summer breezes float,
Grim winter through your hovel pours —
Dull, din, and healthless vapour yours.
Crap, crop. Hae, have. Toom, shallow.
Belair'd, stuck. Stots, young cattle. Wame, belly.
Din, noise. Swither, hesitation.
* Had Heaven intended corn to be the property of one class only,
corn would grow in one land only, and only on one stem. But corn is
the child of every soil ; its grains and its stems are numberless as the
tears of the hungry. The wide spread bounty of God was never
willed to be a wide spread sorrow to man.
74 WHISPERINGS FOR THE UNWASHED.
The nobler Spider* weaves alone,
And feels the little web his oum,
His hame, his fortress, foul or fair,
Nor factory whipper swaggers there.
Should ruffian wasp, or flaunting fly
Touch his lov'd lair, *t is touch and die !
Supreme in rags, ye weave, in tears,
The shining robe your murderer wears ;
Till worn, at last, to very " waste"
A hole to die in, at the best ;
And, dead, the session saints begrudge ye
The twa-three deals in death to lodge ye ;
They grudge the grave wherein to drap ye,
An* grudge the very muck to hap ye.
Deals, boards for a Muck, dirt. Waste, in weavers' lan-
coffin. Session saints, elders, guage broken threads.
* It was at Inveruiy, after losing seven battles against the English,
that Robert Bruce, lying ill in his bed, marked a spider, which was
endeavouring to mount to the ceiling, fall down seven times, but on
the eighth attempt succeed. The Scotch and English army were
just preparing for battle, when Bruce, inspired by this omen, rose,
and heading his dispirited troops, after a desperate struggle succeeded
in routing the enemy, and laid the foundation of a series of successes
against the usurping Invader, which secured the glory and inde-
pendence of the kingdom of Scotland. The welcome he received at
Inverury, in his dark hour of distress, induced him to bestow on it
the privileges of a royal burgh.
Nor is this the only time that the spider has influenced the destiny
of kingdoms. In our own times the careful investigation of their
habits in different weather, by a prisoner in his dungeon, afforded
the indices upon which Dumourier invaded and overrun Holland in
WHISPERINGS FOR THE UNWASHED. 75
Rubadub, rubadub, row-dow-dow !
The drunkard clasps his aching brow ;
And there be they, in their squalor laid,
The supperless brood on loathsome bed ;
Where the pallid mother croons to rest,
The withering babe at her milkless breast.
She, wakeful, views the risen day
Break gladless o'er her home's decay,
And God's blest light a ghastly glare
Of grey and deathy dimness there.
In all things near, or sight or sounds,
Sepulchral rottenness abounds ;
Yet he, the sovereign filth, will prate,
In stilted terms, of Church and State,
As things that he would mould anew —
Could all but his brute self subdue.
Ye vilest of the crawling things,
Lo ! how well the fetter clings
To recreant collar ! Oh, may all
The self-twined lash unbroken fall,
Nor hold until our land is free'd
Of craven, crouching slugs, that breed
In fetid holes, and, day by day,
Yawn their unliving life away !
But die they will not, cannot — why ?
They live not — therefore, cannot die.
In souFs dark deadness dead are they,
Entomb'd in thick corkswollen clay.
Brood, family. Croons, groans. Sovereign filth, drunk-
Corkswollen, beery, ard.
76 WHISPERINGS FOR THE UNWASHED.
What tho' they yield their fulsome breath,
The change but mocks the name of death !
Existence, skulking from the sun,
In misery many, in meanness one.
When brave hearts would the fight renew,
Hope, weeping, withering points to you !
Arouse ye, but neither with bludgeon nor blow,
Let mind be your armour, darkness your foe ;
'T is not in the ramping of demagogue rage,
Nor yet in the mountebank patriot's page,
In sounding palaver, nor pageant, I ween,
In blasting of trumpet, nor vile tambourine ;
For these are but mockful and treacherous things —
The thorns that " crackle" to sharpen their stings.
When fair Science gleams over city and plain,
When Truth walks abroad all unfetter'd again,
When the breast glows to Love and the brow
beams in Light—
Oh ! hasten it Heaven ! Man longs for his
THE MANIAC MOTHER'S DREAM.
When sunlight leaves the lea,
And songless birds would rest,
When sleeping dews there be
Upon the gowan's breast,—
Who, like the dark'ning west,
That lone one ? Who is she ?
'T is sorrow's fated guest,
And this her revelry : —
Through crumbling tombs, o'er boneless graves,
The wrathful wind in that hour that raves,
Shall mingling, mingling, moan and sigh,
To the maniac mother's lullaby ;
While cow'ring 'neath the ruined wall
Of Elgin's dark Cathedral.*
* This venerable and magnificent relic of cathedral grandeur
is situated in Elgin, Morayshire, on the banks of the river Lossie.
It was built early in the thirteenth century. About a hundred
and fifty years after the foundation, it was entirely burned down
by the ruffian son of a Scottish king. The creature — a common
destroyer — lives yet in hateful record, as " The Wolf of Badenoch."
"The cathedral is surrounded by a burying-ground, one of the
largest churchyards, perhaps, in Great Britain. In it are interred
78 THE MANIAC MOTHER'S BREAM.
As o'er her burning brow
She laves yon holy spring,
And down her cheek of snow
The big tear mingling —
Would some mild spirit bring
The heart-wrung living gem,
And place it sparkling
In sorrow's diadem !
the remains of many distinguished persons, including several of the
kings of Scotland. The churchyard is enclosed by a stone wall.
What with the number of graves, the beauty and variety of the
sculptured memorials of departed worth and greatness, and the
grandeur of the dilapidated cathedral, — a building which is, indeed,
pre-eminently magnificent, even in ruins, — the scene is calculated to
make a strong impression on the spectator."
It is not all of its early, grandeur, nor of its latter desolation, its
splendour nor its ruin — not all the historian has told or antiquarian
minuted — will impart an interest to the spot, like what it derives
now from a maniac — an outcast mother and her orphan boy. It fell
out thus: — In 1745, Marjory Gillan, a young woman, resided in
Elgin — she was well connected and goodlooking — was privately
married to a young man who had enlisted in a regiment then quar-
tered in the town — she went abroad with her husband, followed by
the bitter reproach of her relatives and friends, who considered the
step she had taken a discredit and an affront to all connected. In
the same spirit of unrelenting harshness was she received on her
return, which occurred about two years from the time she left. It
was rumoured that her husband had used her ill, had left her behind,
and was killed in battle. The forlorn one now sought her homeless
native place, unsettled in mind, and carrying a baby in her arms.
" The reception she met with, and the wild fancies of a wandering
mind, induced her to take a strange step. Amidst the crumbling
ruins of the cathedral, there is one chamber still entire ; a small,
cellar-like room, about five feet square, with scarcely any light, and
which is said, in ancient times, to have been the sacristy, or place
for keeping the vessels used in the offices of religion. Here the poor
outcast took up her abode, rendered insensible, by her obscured rea-
son, to the nocturnal horrors of a place which, in a better state of
THE MANIAC MOTHER'S BREAM. 79
Well might the sallow goddess wear
In her cold coronal that tear !
The tear of tears is hers, all shed
On sireless son's unsheltered head.
mind, she would have dreaded to approach after dusk. There was
in this room an ancient sculptured font, which she used as a bed to
her infant ; other furniture she had none. When it was known that
she had gone to reside in this dismal place, the people felt as if it
were an imputation against their Christian feelings. She and her
babe were repeatedly carried, by some one or other of them, to their
houses, but she always made her way back to the sacristy. At length,
finding her determined to live there, they contented themselves with
giving her food and alms, and for several years she wandered about
with her boy, under the appellation of ( Daft May Gilzean'* — a
harmless creature, that wept and sang by turns. Her lover or hus-
band was no more heard of in the country, although he had several
relations living in the neighbourhood, with whom he might have been
expected to correspond, if he had remained in life. Andrew Ander-
son, the son of May Gilzean, grew up in all the raggedness and misery
which might be expected under such circumstances to fall to his lot.
It is questionable if he ever knew the comforts of a bed, or of a
cooked meal of any kind, till his boyhood was far advanced. The
one solacement of his forlorn existence was the affection which his
mother always continued to feel for him."t Daft May dies — Andrew
Anderson, her ragged and bewildered boy, is forced, by ungracious
treatment from an uncle with whom he dwelt, to cast himself upon
the world. Fortunately he had obtained some education gra-
tuitously in his native place. With this, his only wealth, " he made
his way to Leith, and thence to London, where he was taken into the
workshop of a tailor, who, finding that he wrote neatly and had a
knowledge of accounts, began, after some time, to employ him as a
clerk. He was one day commissioned to take home a suit of
clothes to a military gentleman, and to grant a discharge for the
account. This gentleman was himself a Scotsman, and bore a
commission in a regiment about to proceed to the East Indies.
He was, like all Scotsmen at a distance from ho?ne, interested
* The z in this name is not pronounced.
t Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, No. 385.
80 THE MANIAC MOTHER' S DREAM.
When misery's guideless gush is o'er,
And drowning reason speaks no more ;
When broken, withered, one by one,
All, all earth-bounded wish is gone ;
When woe is wearied, nor can tell
On the scaithed breast another knell ;
Oh ! mother's heart, up-welling there
Affection wrestles with despair,
And measureless that burning flow,
A mothers heart alone may know.
# # # #
" Bairnie, mine, be hush'd to me,
An* I '11 tell you a dream that I dreamt o' thee,
in hearing his native tongue spoken, by however humble 8 person.
When, in addition to this, he observed the pleasing countenance and
manners of the youth, and found that the discharge appended by him
to the account was in a good regular hand, he entered into conversa-
tion, asked whence he came, what were his prospects, and other such
questions, and finally inquired if he would like to go abroad as a sol-
dier and officer's servant. Anderson required little persuasion to in-
duce him to enter into the stranger's views. He enlisted as a private,
and immediately after set sail with the regiment, in the capacity of
drummer, acting at the same time, according to previous agreement,
as the valet or servant of his patron." A singularly marked Provi-
dence guided the footsteps of '« Daft May's loonie," and, after an
absence of sixty years, he returned to the place of his nativity the
renowned and wealthy Lieutenant-General Anderson of the East India
Company's Service. He " founded and endowed, within the burgh
of Elgin, an hospital for the maintenance of indigent men and women
not under fifty years of age ; also a school of industry for the mainte-
nance and education of male and female children of the labouring
classes, whose parents are unable to maintain and educate them, and
for putting out the said children, when fit to be so, as apprentices to
some trade or occupation, or employing them in such a manner as
may enable them to earn a livelihood by their lawful industry, and
make them useful members of society."
THE MANIAC MOTHER'S DREAM. 81
As we lay in the lythe o' yon bare graif-stane —
Oh, me ! 't was an unco dream yestreen ;
Yon gruesome spirit that haunts our hame,
Wi' ither eldrich goblins came ;
They pu'd my heart, and they dimm'd my e'e,
Till my baby bairn I cou'dna see :
But aye I heard your waesome cry,
As they bore me o'er yon dreamy sky ;
And weel, frae the height o' my heavenly ha',
On sorrowin' earth my bairn I saw ;
I saw you conjured — kent your greet,
As you crouch'd and cower'd at the carlin's feet ;
Ilk tear that sped frae your sleepless e'e
Were draps like the liyin' bleed frae me,
Till toil'd, and torn, and wan, and wae,
Ye wandered far frae your heather brae ;
The shrifted souls that dwelt wi' me,
Looked wistfu' o'er your destiny ;
And oh! to me their holy sang
In changefu' sweetness swelled alang ;
And aye their godward melody
Breathed watchfu' benisons on thee.
I saw the warl' gang rowin' by,
And you beneath its kindest sky ;
I marked the hue o' crimson weir,
Bedeck the breast o" my bairnie dear ;
Benisons, blessings. Greet, to weep, cry, Rowin', rolling.
Bleed, blood. Gruesome, loathsome, Wae, sad,
Carlin, old woman. Ilk, each, Warl', world,
Eldrich, hideous, Ither, other. Weir, war,
Frae,/r<wi. Kent, knew, Wistfu', anxious.
E 5 •
82 THE MANIAC MOTHER'S BREAM.
Till the highest head in yon jewelled land,
Bent to the beck o' my Andrew's hand.
Ae time the warld came rowin' by,
We missed ye in yon lo'esome sky,
But tracked your keel across the main,
To your hameless Highland braes again,
And bonnie was the bough and fair
Your brave hand brought and planted there !
Braid, braid its branch o' fadeless green,
Wi' streaks o' sunny light between,
As, laughing frae their yellow sky,
They kissed the leaves that loot them by.
There smiling Plenty safely laid
In Mercy's lap her gowden head ;
The fiercest winter winds that rair,
Could never fauld a sna'-wreath there ;
E'en misery's cauld and witherin' e'e
Fell feckless o'er your stately tree.
The stricken deer weel there might rest,
And lap the bleed frae its dapple breast ;
The wingless doo would leap and splash
A' drippin' frae the hunter's flash,
Safe shelter'd in yon shady fa',
To croon its little heart awa' ;
And wee, wee birdies, nane could name,
Came flutterin' there, and found a hame ;
Ae, one. Fauld, fold. Rowing rolling.
Bleed, blood. Feckless, feebly. Sna'-wreath, snow-
Braid, broad. Frae, from. wreath.
Cauld, cold. Loot, let. Wee, small, little.
Croon, moan. Rair, to roar. Weel, well.
THE MANIAC MOTHER'S DREAM. 83
E'en rooks and ravens, tired o' bleed,
Sought shelter there in time o' need.
But, oh ! that wind, its harrying scream
Reive through the rest o' my bonnie dream."
Harrying, ruinous. Reive, tore.
OLD FATHER FROST AND HIS FAMILY.
Grim father Frost, he hath children twain,
The cloud-born daughters of Lady Bain ;
The elder, a coquettish pattering thing,
Would woo you in winter, and pelt you in spring ;
At times you might scarce feel her feathery fall,
Anon she will beard you with icicle ball ;
When the warrings of heaven roll higher and higher,
She, coward-like, flees from the conflict of fire —
• Ere yet the schoolmaster was so much abroad, the school-
mistress was very much at home. In Aberdeen, about thirty years
ago, at any of fifty lowly firesides, could be found one of those simple
academies yclept a " WifiVs Squeel." In one of these was im-
parted to me all the tuition I ever received in the way of letters
— gatherings in after-life being only "crumbs from the rich man's
table." Our Wifle had always twenty scholars, one cat, one taurds,
and one opinion. The scholars exercised her patience, the cat her
affections, and the opinion, simply that the taurds (a cordovan
improvement on the feebler birch) was, as an exercise, the best
panacea on earth for rheumatism in the right shoulder. When
Elspet Gillespie wanted a bit of exercise in this way, there was -no
long waiting for a defaulter to give a duty-like interest to her
emotions. The evolutions of the taurds then awakened some ex-
citement throughout the establishment, accompanied by strong
marks of disapproval in the party honoured by her immediate regard,
and stirred curious sympathies even in those who sat by in safety —
Taurds, a feather strap.
OLD FATHER FROST AND HIS FAMILY. 85
Yet heightens the havoc, for her feeble power,
Tho' scaithless the oak, how it fells the frail flower !
And the bad of the berry, the bloom of the bean,
Are founder* d to earth by the merciless quean ;
Quean, wench, jade.
if, indeed, safety could be coupled with such an hour. When the
pangs of rheumatism were lulled by a sense of weariness about the
shoulder blade, Elspet resumed her proud elevation above the
trembling assembly, who felt there was one great woman in the
world, and there sat she. Boys five years old and upwards brought
the fee of three " bawbees" and a peat weekly. Our junior class
was composed of little ones, who were too young to talk, but who,
of course, made most noise. These were charged sixpence. I cannot
say what portion of that sum was entered to " din." She had,
indeed, much trouble with these, and longer time of it, having to
tend them during the whole day, until their poor mothers returned
from the spinning-mill or the field. The outfit for grown-up students
was a Bible, a Westminster Catechism, and a stool, all of which
were removed on Saturday, and fetched again on Monday. Oh, that
I could tell, and tell it rightly, the " skailing of the squeel !" or
paint yon joyous little mob, gushing forth from the laigh door of
Elspet Gillespie ! Every face a commentary on the " rights of man"
— every little head crowned with a three-footed stool, its " cap of
liberty." There they go, — a living forest, less leafy, less orderly than
the Birnam wood that moved to Dunsinane. Thus should it be —
this left a tyrant — that sought one. But the day of days, in Elspet
Gillespie's ragamuffin college, was Candlemas day. Then the very
madness of young mirth prevailed, washing off the jagged recollec-
tions of bygone sufferings, and sweetening down the three hundred
and sixty-four sorrows of the season. Elspet on that day wore a
smile on her face, and a high caul cap on her head — the taurds and
cat invisible — locked up, it may be, in passive unity — the envied
brute and detested leather. No matter how wrapped our vulgar
days, Candlemas claimed a clean sark to every laddie — to every
lassie a white frock, and to each a white pocket napkin. A king
and queen were, by the breath of Elspet, created on the spot. Who
Bawbee, a halfpenny. J aigh, lowly. Skailing, going out.
Caul, triangular shape. ark, shirt.
86 OLD FATHER FROST AND HIS FAMILY.
E'en the stout stems of summer full often must quail
To this rattling, brattling, head-breaking hail.
I '11 not say a word of how rudely she breaks
On the dream of the garret-doomed maid, and awakes
A thousand regrets in the marrowless lass,
And cruelly mimics the " touch on the glass,"
the distinguished? It was the undeviating custom for parents to
tender, on Candlemas eve, a guerdon to our tutoress, less or lesser,
as earthly means permitted. So it fell out somehow that, in every
rememberable instance, either the baker or the butcher rejoiced in
the royal issue. Hence our gossiping mothers of meaner note did, in
their envy, whisper that Eppie's royal rule was, " Wha buys the
whistle?" Never mind that, we 've seen the like since then— no
disparagement to "the powers that breathe." Two teaspoonfuls
of sweeties and an orange was laid on every happy hand. The
fiddler comes — all on foot at once— all at once in motion — twenty
white napkins flutter over twenty pretty heads. Fiddler ! what care
they for a fiddler? They see the fiddle ! The dance started when he
began to tune — the dance continues — he is tuning still — hands up !
Patter, patter, patter— forty little feet pattering ! Think of that when
you see the hail dance to the whirr of a May shower ! Oh ! the
days of childhood ! Voyage thereafter as we may, on smooth or on
broken water, these are the landmarks that wiU never fade. The
blue of our native hills may be lost to the eye for long, long years,
yet once again we press their heathy belts ; but you, ye sunny scenes
of infancy, though ye glimmer through every darkness, and at every
distance, we meet never again. " Old Father Frost" was the result
of a sportive contest in rhyming between the author and Mr. Adam,
whose verses are subjoined, as well for their native prettiness as
their giving interest and character to the whole.
Old Father Frost hath children twain,
Begotten 'twixt him and his Lady Rain ;
Though he is harsh, yet mild is she,
And this is seen in their family.
Old Father Frost and his family !
OLD FATHER FROST AND HIS FAMILY. 87
With her cold little pearls, that dance, bound, and
P la y>
Like our ain bonnie bairns on Candlemas day.
You know her meek sister ? Oh, soft is the fall
Of her fairy footsteps on hut and on hall !
To hide the old father's bleak doings below,
In pity she cometh, the minist'ring snow.
Ain, own. Bairns, children. Bonnie, pretty.
Yes, Father Frost is a hard old churl,
On his upper lip there 's a bitter curl;
And his black ill-favoured visage throws
A sombre shade o'er his pale blue nose.
Old Father Frost and his family !
When the summer heat hath passed away,
And gentle Rain gives up her sway,
Old Father Frost, with his iron hand,
Seizes and binds each northern land.
Old Father Frost and his family !
And hard it were for the creatures of earth,
Were it not that Lady Rain gives birth
To her chaste and kindly daughter, Snow,
Who throws her mantle o'er all below.
Old Father Frost and his family !
For stern is the fiat of Father Frost,
He chains the waters though tempest tos't ;
And he freezes up the very ground
Till it yields a ringing metal sound.
Old Father Frost and his family !
But like the Paynim maid in the minstrel tale,
Who released the knight from her father's jail,
Sweet sister Snow sets prisoners free,
And mitigates Frost's severity.
Old Father Frost and his family!
88 OLD FATHER FROST AND HIS FAMILY.
With her mantle she covers the shelterless trees,
As they groan to the howl of the Borean breeze ;
And baffles the search of the subtle wind,
Guarding each crevice lest it should find
Its moaning way to the fireless fold
Of the trembling young and the weeping old,
When through her white bosom the daisy appears,
She greets the fair stranger with motherly tears !
And they mingle so sweet with the golden ray
Of the struggling beam that chides her away.
But where 's the last speck of her brightness seen,
Mid the bursting spring and its saucy green ?
In the coldest side of yon lone churchyard,
Neglected graves she loveth to ward ;
But not where gorgeous marble pleads,
And frequent foot of mourner treads ;
But down by the stranger's noteless lair,
Where sighs are few and footsteps rare,
She loveth, she loveth to linger there !
O'er hearts forgotten that sleep below,
There is none to weep but the friendly snow.
Not so kind by half is brother Hail,
Who rattles about in his coat of mail,
And bends and shatters both shrub and flower,
In the wanton display of his father's power.
Old Father Frost and his family !
But Frost, and Rain, and Hail, and Snow,
Come at your time when you come below ;
And we '11 welcome you all with a cheerful smile,
And drink and laugh and sing the while.
Old Father Frost and his family !
Air-t-" Bonnie House o* Airly."
Oh, ye waesome winds, hoo your mourning grieves,
Hoo your sighing an' moaning fear me !
As ye toss an' tear the trembling leaves
That ye cherished when he was near me.
I 've kent ye woo them — I 've heard ye woo,
As saftly as woman's lane sighing ;
When ye slyly kissed the cozie dew
Frae their faulded bosoms lying.
Now nightly athwart the naked plain,
Ye are whirling the saucy snaw in ;
Ye Ve changed the dew to the pelting rain,
Till your poor droukit leaves are fa'in.
Hae ye fausely strayed 'mang misty groves,
Wi' ice- wreathed maidens to marrow ?
Oh, they 've come an' slain your bonnie summer loves,
An' driven ye daft wi' sorrow !
Cozie, snug. Frae, from. Marrow, keep company
Daft, mad. Hae, have. with,.
Droukit, drenched. Hoo, how. Saftly, softly.
Faulded, folded. Kent, known. Waesome, woesome.
Fausely, falsely* Lane, lone.
90 AUTUMN WINDS.
But my love is true, ye winds that blaw,
And your fauseness maunna fear me ;
His kind heart never will flit nor fa',
Nor own anither dearie.
There 's ae green branch on yon blighted tree,
An' the lave a' darkly dwining ;
There 's ae bricht e'e looks love to me,
Like the weird licht o'er me shining.
Yet oh, ye winds, hoo your wailing grieves !
Hoo your sighing an* moaning fear me !
As ye toss an' tear the dowie grey leaves
That waur green, green, when he was near me.
Blaw, blow. Fauseness, falsely. Maunna, must not.
Bricht, bright. Flit, to remove. Waur, were.
Dowie, »ickly. Hoo, how. Weird licht, light of
Dwining, withering. Lave, rest . my destiny.
OH, MAKY ! WHEN YOU THINK OF ME.
[For a period of seventeen years, I was employed in a great
weaving factory in Aberdeen. It contained upwards of three
hundred looms, worked by as many male and female weavers.
'T was a sad place, indeed, and many a curiosity sort of man and
woman entered that blue gate. Amongst the rest, that little,
sly fellow Cupid would steal past " Willie, the porter" (who
never dreamed of such a being) — steal in amongst us, and make
a very harvest of it. Upon the remembrance of one of his
rather graver doings, the song of " Mary" is composed. One
of our shopmates, a virtuous young woman, fairly, though un-
consciously, carried away the whole bulk and value of a poor
weaver's heart. He became restless and miserable, but could
never muster spirit to speak his flame. " He never told his
love" — yes, he told it to me. At his request, I told it to Mary,
and she laughed. Five weeks passed away, and I saw him to
the churchyard. For many days ere he died, Mary watched by
his bedside, a sorrowful woman, indeed. Never did widow's
tears fall more burningly. It is twenty years since then. She
is now a wife and a mother ; but the remembrance of that, their
last meeting, still haunts her sensitive nature, as if she had done
a deed of blood.]
Oh, Mary ! when you think of me,
Let pity hae its share, love ;
Tho' others mock my misery,
Do you in mercy spare, love.
92 OH, mary! when you think of me.
My heart, oh, Mary ! own'd but thee,
And sought for thine so fervently ;
The saddest tear e'er wet my e'e,
Ye ken wha brocht it there, love.
Oh, lookna wi' that witching look,
That wiled my peace awa', love !
An' dinna let me hear you sigh,
It tears my heart in twa, love !
Resume the frown ye wont to wear,
Nor shed the unavailing tear,
The hour of doom is drawing near,
An' welcome be its ca\ love !
How could ye hide a thought sae kind,
Beneath sae cauld a brow, love ?
The broken heart it winna bind
Wi' gowden bandage now, love.
No, Mary ! mark yon reckless shower !
It hung aloof in scorching hour,
An' helps nae now the feckless flower
That sinks beneath its flow, love.
Brocht, brought. Feckless, feeble. Sae, so.
Ca', call. Ken, know. Twa, twain.
Cauld, cold. Lookna, look not. Wha, who.
Dinna, do not. Nae, not . Winna, will not.
I'VE SOUGHT IN LANDS AYONT THE SEA.
Written at Stocks, near Tring, 1841.
Air — u My Normandie."
I 've sought in lands ayont the sea
A hame — a couthie hame for thee,
An' honeysickle bursts around
The blithesome hame that I hae found ;
Then dinna grudge your heather bell —
Oh, fretna for your flowerless fell —
Here dale an' down mair fair to see,
Than ought in our ain bleak countrie !
Come o'er the waters, dinna fear,
The lav'rock lilts as lo'esome here,
An' mony a sweet, around, above,
Shall welcome o'er my Jessie, love.
Ain, own. Fretna, fret not. Lilts, sings.
Ayont, beyond* Hame, Twine. Lo'esome, lovely.
Couthie, comfortable, Lav'rock, lark. Mair, more.
Dinna, do not.
94 I 'VB SOUGHT IN LANDS AYONT THE SEA.
My hame wi' halesome gear is fu',
My heart wi' loweing love for you ;
Oh, haste, my Jessie, come an* see
The hame — the heart that waits for thee !
But mind ye, lass, the fleetfu hours,
They wait nae — spare nae fouk nor flowers,
An* sair are fouk and flowers to blame,
Wha wishfu', wastefu' wait for them.
Oh, bide nae lang in swither, then,
Since flowers an* fouk may wither, then ;
But come, as lang 's I hae to gie
A hame — a heart to welcome thee !
Fleetfu', fleeting. Hae, have. Nae, not,
Fouk, folk. Halesome, wholesome. Sair, much.
Gear, furniture. Loweing, burning. Swither, doubt.
I WOULDNA— OH ! I COULDKA LOOK.
" Should auld acquaintance be forgot ?" Ay, faith ; and in some
cases the sooner the better too.
I wouldna — oh ! I couldna look
On that sweet face again ;
I daurna trust my simple heart,
Now it 's ance mair my ain.
I wouldna thole what I hae thol'd,
Sic dule I wouldna dree,
For a' that love could now unfold
Frae woman's witchfu' e'e.
I 've mourn'd until the waesome moon
Has sunk ahint the hill,
An* seen ilk sparkling licht aboon
Creep o'er me, mournin' still.
Aboon, above. Dule, sorrow, Mair, more,
Ahint, behind. Frae, from. Sic, such.
Ance, once. Hae, have. Thole, endure.
Daurna, durst not. Ilk, each. Waesome, woesome.
Dree, undergo. Licht, light. Wouldna, would not.
96 I W0ULDNA — OH ! I COULDNA LOOK.
I Ve thocht my very mither's hame
Was hameless-like to me ;
Nor could I think this warld the same
That I was wont to see.
But years o' mingled care hae past,
Wi' blinks o' joy between ;
An' yon heart-hoarded form at last
Forsakes my doited een.
Sae cauld and dark my bosom now,
Sic hopes lie buried there !
That sepulchre whaur love's saft lowe
May never kindle mair.
I couldna trust this foolish heart
When its ance mair my ain ;
I couldna — oh ! I daurna look
On Mary's face again !
Ain, own. Doited, confused. Mair, more.
Ance, once. Een, eyes. Sae, so.
Couldna, could not. Hae, have. Sic, such.
Daurna, durst not. Lowe, flame. Thocht, thought.
I saw my true Love first on the banks of queenly Tay,
Nor did I deem it yielding my trembling heart away ;
I feasted on her deep dark eye, and loved it more
For, oh ! I thought I ne'er had seen a look so kind
I heard my true Love sing, and she taught me many
But a voice so sweet, oh ! never shall my cold ear
In all our friendless wanderings, in homeless penury,
Her gentle song and jetty eye were all unchanged
I saw my true Love fade — I heard her latest sigh —
I wept no frivolous weeping when I closed her light-
less eye ;
Far from her native Tay she sleeps, and other waters
The markless spot where Ury creeps around my
Move noiseless, gentle Ury! around my Jeanie's bed,
And I '11 love thee, gentle Ury ! where'er my foot-
steps tread ;
98 jeanie's grave.
For sooner shall thy fairy wave return from yonder sea,
Than I forget yon lowly grave, and all it hides from me . *
* Three mountain streamlets brawl separately down their break-
neck journey, and tumble in peace together at the woods at Newton,
near Old Rayne. This quiet confluence is the Ury. Like worn-
out racers, these boisterous burns take breath, gliding along in
harmonious languor some three or four miles, when the peaceful
Ury is, as it were, cut through by the Gadie, a desperately crab-
bed-looking rivulet, raging and rumbling from Benachie. From
this last annoyance, Ury moves onward in noiseless sweetness,
winding and winding, as if aware of its own brief course, and all
unwilling to leave the braes that hap the heroes of Harlaw. By-
and-by, it creeps mournfully past the sequestered graveyard of
Inverury, kisses the " Bass," and is swallowed up in the blue waters
of the Don ; its whole extent being only ten miles. Close by the
graveyard stands the Bass of Inverury— a conical-shaped hill, thickly
studded with trees. The gloomy legends told of its origin and sub-
sequent uses, would make one readily own its fitting neighbourhood
to a place of skulls. One will tell you that, once upon a time, the
plague came upon Scotland, and Inverury had its share; that a
deserted house stood then on the banks of the Ury — thither was
carried the infected till the number of patients outran the skill and
resources of their friends, who assembled to deliberate on " ways
and means." It was then settled upon, that, to shorten present
suffering, and to secure future safety, the best way was to bury them
forthwith, house and all. It was done then. Hence the " Bass."
" Some maintain that the Bass has been used for judicial purposes.
By others it is supposed to be of a sepulchral character ; and to con-
tain the remains of Eth or Aoth, a Pictish king, who was killed a year
after his accession in a.d. 881 The old rhyme of Thomas the Rhymer,
€ When Dee and Don shall run in one,
And Tweed shall run in Tay,
The bonnie water of Ury
Shall bear the Bass away/
is in every one's mouth in this district."
At Newton are some remarkable lofty stones (monoliths). The
Antiquarian Society have had casts made of the inscriptions and figures
on them, but they have hitherto defied the attempts of the learned to
THEY SPEAK O' WYLES.
Air—" Gin a bodie meet a bodie."
They speak o' wyles in woman's smiles,
An' ruin in her e'e —
I ken they bring a pang at whiles
That 's unco sair to dree ;
But mind ye this, the half-ta'en kiss,
The first fond fa'in' tear,
Is, Heaven kens, fu' sweet amends
An' tints o' heaven here.
When twa leal hearts in fondness meet,
Life's tempests howl in vain —
The very tears o' love are sweet
When paid with tears again.
Shall sapless prudence shake its pow,
Shall cauldrife caution fear ?
Oh, dinna, dinna droun the lowe
That lichts a heaven here !
Cauldrife, coldish. Ken, know. Sair, sore,
Dinna, do not. Leal, true. Unco, very.
Dree, endure. Lichts, lights. Wyles, cunning.
Droun, drown. Lowe, flame.
THE LAST TRYST.
This nicht ye '11 cross the bosky glen,
Ance mair, oh, would ye meet me then ?
I '11 seem as bygane bliss an' pain
Were a' forgot.
I winna weep to weary thee,
Nor seek the love ye canna gie ; —
Whaur first we met, oh, let that be
The parting spot !
The hour just when the faithless licht
O' yon pale star forsakes the nicht ;
I wouldna pain ye wi' the blicht
Ye Ve brought to me.
Nor would I that yon proud cauld ray
Should mock me wi' its scornfu' play ; —
The sunken een and tresses gray
Ye maunna see.
Ance, once. Canna, cannot. Mair, more.
Blicht, blight. Cauld, cold. Maunna, must not.
Bosky, wild, unfre- Een, eyes. Nicht, night.
quented. Gie, give. Whaur, where.
Bygane, bygone. Licht, light. Winna, will not.
THE LAST TRYST. 101
Wi* sindered hearts few words will sair,
An' brain-dried grief nae tears can spare ;
These bluidless lips shall never mair
Name thine or thee.
At murky nicht, oh, meet me then !
Restore my plighted troth again ;
Your bonnie bride shall never ken
Your wrangs to me.
Bluidless, bloodless. Nicht, night. Sair, satisfy.
Ken, know. Mair, more. Sindered, parted.
Nae, no. Murky, dark. Wrangs, wrongs.
OXE OF THE HEARTS STRUGGLES.
Air—" Willie was a wanton wag."
" Oh ! let me gang, ye dinna ken
How sair my mither flate yestreen —
An', mournin o'er and o'er again,
Speir'd whaur I gaed sae late at e'en.
An' aye I saw her dicht her een —
My very heart maist brak to see 't —
I 'd byde a flyte though e'er sae keen,
But canna, canna thole her greet."
" Oh ! blessin's guard my lassie's brow,
And fend her couthie heart frae care ;
Her lowein' breast o' love sae fu' —
How can I grudge a mither's share ?
Dinna, do not.
Yestreen, last night.
ONE OF THE HEART'S STRUGGLES. 103
The hinnysuckle 's no sae fair,
In gloamin's dewy pearl weet,
As my love's e'e when tremblin' there
The tear that owns a mither's greet.
" A heart a' warmed to mither's love —
Oh ! that 's the heart .whaur I wad be ;
An' when a mither's lips reprove,
Oh ! gie me then the glist'nin' e'e.
For feckless fa's that look on me,
Howe'er sae feigned in cunnin's sweet —
And loveless — luckless — is the e'e
That, tearless, kens a mither greet."
Feckless, feebly. Greet, cry. Wad, would.
Gie, give. Kens, knows. Weet, wet.
Gloamin', twilight. Sae, so. Whaur, where.
YE DINNA KEN YON BOWER.
Air—" Jenny Nettles."
Ye dinna ken yon bower,
Frae the glow'rin' warF hidden,
Ye maunna ken yon bower
Bonnie in the gloamin'.
Nae woodbine sheds a fragrance there,
Nae rose, nae daffodillie fair ;
But, oh I yon flow'r beyond compare
That blossoms in the gloamin*.
There 's little licht in yon bower,
Day and darkness elbow ither,
That's the licht in yon bower,
Bonnie in the gloamin'.
Awa' ye sun, wi' lavish licht,
And bid brown Benachie guid nicht ;
To me a star mair dearly bricht
Aye glimmers in the gloamin'.
Dinna, do not,
Gloamin', after twi-
Ither, each other.
Maunna, must not.
YE DINNA KEN YON BOWER. 105
There 's nae a sound in yon bower,
Merl's sough nor mavis singin' ;
Whispers saft in yon bower,
Mingle in the gloamin'.
What though drowsie lav'rocks rest,
Cow'rin' in their sangless nest ?
When, oh ! the voice that I like best
Cheers me in the gloamin\
There 's artless truth in yon bower,
Sweeter than the scented blossom ;
Bindin* hearts in yon bower,
Glowin* in the gloamin'.
The freshness o' the upland lea,
The fragrance o' the blossom'd pea,
A' mingle in her breath to me,
Sichin' in the gloamin\
Then haud awa' frae yon bower,
Cauldrife breast or loveless bosom ;
True love dwells in yon bower,
Gladdest in the gloamin*.
Awa', away. Lay'rocks, larks.
Cauldrife, coldish. Nae, not. Siching, si^/iin^.
Frae,/rom. Saft, soft. Sough, sound.
Air — " The year that *s awaV
Oh, whaur hae ye gane, bonnie May
Hae ye left us for ever an' aye ?
Your daft brither, June, brak in wi' a stoun',
Maist frichtit our birdies away,
Oh, May !
An' feint a bit liltie hae they.
Our gowans droop wither'd an* grey,
Our bairnies creep sullen an* blae ;
Through blifferts o' caul' they yaumer an* yaul,
An' want ye to warm them, May,
Oh, May !
Our dear, duddie bairnies, May.
Blae, blue, cold,
Gowans, field daisies,
Yaumer an' yaul, weep-
ing and howling.
The whir o' the witherm' wind
Drives madly o'er burn an' brae ;
The tremblin' breird fa's sadden an' sear'd,
An' kens nae the nicht frae the day,
Oh, May !
An' hae ye forsaken us, May ?
Our crafters look crabbit an' fey,
Our wee bits o' bushes decay ;
They crouch in the yard, cauld blabs on ilk beard,
An* greet to the mornin' grey,
Oh, May !
They miss the lythe licht o' their May.
I 've nae mair to sing or to say,
But come, gin you 're comin', sweet May,
Ere Martinmas drear, set the Factor asteer,
An' then there 's the deevil to pay,
Oh, May !
Our stools an' our tubbies away !
Kens nae, knows not.
Licht, light .
Nae mair, no ?twre,
Tubbies, tubs dis-
trained for rent.
* " Braird," the first shootings of the crop.
LINES WRITTEN AT RAVENSCRAIG,
A RUIN ON THE BANKS OF UGIE, NEAR PETERHEAD,
" A building — such a one
As age to age might add for uses vile,
A windowless, deformed, and dreary pile."
Yon 's Ravenscraig, wi' riven ha',
A thousand winters shook its wa' —
Tired Time let scythe an' san'glass fa',
To breathe awhile at Ugie.
For here, by brake, by burn an* lea,
Fair Nature freaks sae changefullie !
Now lauchin' daft, syne greets to see
Yon grim, grey towers at Ugie.
An' wha can mark yon dungeon dour,
Unmindfu' o' the waesome hour,
When man o'er man, wi' fiendish power,
Made sick the tremblin' Ugie.
Daft, madly. Ha', hall. Syne, then.
Dour, surly, San 'glass, hour-glass. Waesome, woeful.
LINES WRITTEN AT RAVENSCRAIG. 109
Bring ivy wi' its peacefu* green,
Gae hide ilk hoar, unhallow'd stane ;
They maunna bloat yon bonnie een
That watch the gushin* Ugie.
For yonder 's she, in love's loved dress,
In youth, in truth, in tenderness —
Sure Heaven lent that bonnie face
To bless the tearra' Ugie !
'T is sic a face, 't is sic a mien,
An' oh ! sic wylie, witchin* een,
Gars Time upon his elbow lean,
An' sich to cross the Ugie.
Bonnie, lovely. Ilk, each. Sich, sigh.
Een, eyes. Maunna, must not. Wylie, sly.
Gars, causeth. Sic, suck like.
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE
Inverury, March 1st, 1844.
Sib, — In your paper, the other week, I read of a woman,
Cameron, Overgate, Dundee, found dead — her child, a boy of
seven years, sleeping beside her. She expired unknown to* any
— she and her little son lying on a shakedown in a wretched
hovel— not a morsel of food, but every mark of starvation, cold,
and hunger. Now, sir, having myself tasted the bitter cup
— having seen death at work in this same hideous form — the
above tragedy affected me very much. I do not think ill of
mankind, but the contrary. I would not reflect on the good'
will of those who undertake, and whose duty it then is, to watch
the abodes of misery. Reproach may not apply to the wiU of
parties so placed; but what could the mildest say of that
blameable and fatal ignorance that thus defeats the very best
ends of mercy — leaving a human creature to struggle with
death in its most revolting attitude — then mock the whole with
a sort of posthumous wail ? I sincerely believe that there was
not one in Dundee, that night — whether on hardest pallet or
softest down — but would have started in the dark hour,
ministered to yon perishing woman, soothed the little trembler
at her cold breast, and been happy. But who knew of it ?
Why, everybody, next day, when the white coffin * is seen borne
along by a troop of pale-faced existences, whose present suffering
* In Dundee, it lately was the case, if not still, that paupers' coffins
were not allowed to be blackened.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE . Ill
is nowise smoothed by the prospect offered in their then dowie
occupation, and the fate that may be their own one cold dark
night, ere long. Starvation to death is not uncommon amongst
us; yet we are in the nineteenth century — the pearl age of
benevolent societies, charity-schools, and " useful knowledge."
Would benevolence be perverted, charity made colder, or the
knowledge useless, that made us timeously acquainted with
catastrophes like these ? In Aberdeen, the other week, an aged
man was found dead in his garret, with every appearance of
want and wretchedness ? How came it to be known ? Did
the elder of the district discover it while on his round of
Christian inquiry ? Did some benevolent ruler in a benevolent
society miss his poor old neighbour? Weeks and weeks his
tottering footsteps had not been seen on the pavement, or heard
in his naked abode. He is dead — starved dead, — and the stench
of his half-consumed body first gives notice, that " however
man may act by man, Death is at his post." Oh, that some
kind-hearted creature, with a turn for statistical computation,
would lend me a hand ! It might be made clear, I think, that
in a population of sixty thousand, one hundred could be spared
(by regular changes) to hunt Misery to its very heels, and scare
it, at least, from its more hideous feasts. Say that districts are
divided into wards, each ward having its appointed inspector,
whose duty it should be to observe earnestly, and report faith-
fully, all concerning the poverty-stricken residents in his
That the " Murder of Neglect" is perpetrated in this land
is one terrible fact, and it is as true, though, alas ! not so terri-
fying, that he who is ignorant of it, or, knowing it, feels it only
as an incident per course, bestowing upon it a fusionless shrug,
and a " woes me," — that man has blood upon his head! We are
the children of one Father, travelling together on the broad and
brief way to eternity. Alas ! for such unequal equipment — see-
ing we must at last pull up at the one same stage ! You will for-
give me all this preaching, but my soul is in it, and last night
I composed the following lines bearing that way. If you think
these, or any sentiments here expressed, would, if made public,
in any way move an additional feeling in favour of the "• Over-
gate Orphan," I would be proud and happy.
112 THE 0VERGATE ORPHAN.
'T is the lone wail of woman, a mother's last woe,
And tearless the eye when the soul weepeth so—
Nor fuel nor food in yon windowless lair,
The sleeping is watched by the dying one there.
" Oh, wauken nae, wauken nae, my dowie dear !
My dead look would wither your wee heart wi' fear ;
Sleep on till yon cauld moon is set in the sea,
Gin mornin', hoo cauld will your wauk'nin' be !
" Ye creep to a breast, Jamie, cauld as the snaw,
Ye hang roun' a heart, Jamie, sinkin' awa' ;
I 'm laith, laith to leave ye, though fain would I dee
Gin Heaven would lat my lost laddie wi' me !"
Awaken, lone trembler, the moon has no light,
And the grey glint of morning drives back the
fell night ;
Her last look is fixing in yon frozen tear —
Awaken, lone trembler, thy home is not here !
The death-grasp awoke him — the struggle is o'er,
He moans to the ear that will listen no more :
" You 're caulder than me, mither, cauld though I be,
And that look is nae like your ain look to me.
Ain, own. Gin, by. Lat, let.
Cauld, cold. Gin, if. Nae, not.
Caulder, colder. Hoo, how. Wauken, waken.
Dee, die. Lair, dwelling. Wauk'nin', wakening.
Dowie, sickly. Laith, loth.
THE OVERGATE ORPHAN. 113
" I dreamt how my father came back frae the deid,
An' waesome an* eerie the looks that he gied ;
He wyled ye awa' till ye sindered frae me —
Oh, hap me, my mither, I 'm cauld — like to dee !"
The creaking white coffin is hurried away,
The mourners all motley, and shrivelled, and gray ;
Each meagre one muttering it over yon bier, —
" So colder my home is — oh, God ! it were here ! "
Deid, dead. Gied, gave. Sindered, separated.
Eerie, toild. Hap, cover. Wyled, cozened.
Frae, /row. Shrivelled, shrunken.
I had ae nicht, and only ane,
On flow'ry Ythanside,
An' kith or kindred I hae nane
That dwall by Ythanside ;
Yet midnicht dream and morning vow
At hame they winna bide,
But pu\ and pu' my willing heart
Awa' to Ythanside.
What gars ilk restless, wand'ring wish
Seek aye to Ythanside,
An' hover round yon fairy bush
That spreads o'er Ythanside ?
I think I see its pawkie boughs,
Whaur lovers weel might hide ;
An* oh ! what heart could safely sit
Yon nicht at Ythanside ?
Winna, will not.
Could I return and own the scaith
I thole frae Ythanside,
Would her mild e'e bend lythe on me
Ance mair on Ythanside ?
Or, would she crush my lowly love
Beneath a brow o' pride ?
I daurna claim, and maunna blame,
Her heart on Ythanside.
I '11 rue yon high and heathy seat*
That hangs o'er Ythanside ;
I '11 rue the mill whaur burnies meet ;
I '11 rue ye, Ythanside.
Ance, once. Frae,/rom. Maunna, must not.
Daurna, dare not. Lythe, kindly. Scaith, hurt.
E'e, eye. Mair, more.\ Thole, endure.
* In the woods of Essilmont, there is a most romantic looking
pinnacle overhanging the water Ythan. Nature has scooped in it a
beautiful little gallery. There the late Miss Gordon, of Essilmont
(an old castle, the seat of the Cheynes of Essilmont, was daily seen
surrounded by the children of the neighbouring peasantry, teaching
them aU things needful to their situation in life — their duty to God
and the world.
Ythan rises in Forgue, out of Fondland Hill, from two springs ; is
about 15 miles long, without reckoning its windings; and has six
ferry boats; is deep and black, and hence dangerous. Yet it abounds
with pearls, which, were they waited for till they became ripe, would
turn to good account. Hence one of our poets (Hawthornden, in
an epitaph on a nobleman buried here), addressing himself to this
river in a melancholy strain, hath said,
" Ythan! thy pearly coronet let fall."
The top-pearl in the crown of Scotland, is reported to have been
found in Kelly, a little brook that falls into Ythan in Methlick parish.
An* you, ye Moon, wi' luckless licht,
Pour'd a' your gowden tide
O'er sic a brow ! — sic een, yon nicht ! —
Oh, weary Ythanside !
Licht, light. Sic, such.
Sir Thomas Menzies of Cults haying procured it — for beauty and big-
ness, the best at any time found in Scotland,— and haying found, by
the judgment of the best jewellers in Edinburgh, that it was most
precious, and of a very high value, went up to London and gifted
it to the king, — this was in the year 1620, — who, in retribution, gave
him 12 or 14 chalders of victual about Dumfermling, and the cus-
tom of merchant-goods in Aberdeen during his life.
In the reign of King Charles I., the trade was considered of suffi-
cient moment to be worthy the attention of the Parliament. The
pearls of Scotland long shared with those of Bohemia the reputation
of being the best found in Europe, though they were held to be very
far inferior to those of the East. — [Description of the Diocese of
Aberdeen, and Notes to it; presented to the Spalding Club by the
Earl of Aberdeen.]
A CHIEFTAIN UNKNOWN TO THE QUEEN.
Auld Scotland cried " Welcome your Queen !"
Ilk glen echoed " Welcome your Queen !"
While turret and tower to mountain and moor,
Cried " Wauken and welcome our Queen !"
Syne, oh! sic deray was exprest,
As Scotland for lang hadna seen ;
When bodies cam bickerin' a' clad in their best-
To beck to their bonnie young Queen.
When a' kinds o* colours cam south,
An' scarlet * frae sly Aberdeen :
Ilk flutterin' heart flitted up to the mouth,
A pantin' to peep at our Queen.
There were Earls on that glittering strand,
Wi' diamonded Dame mony ane ;
An' weel might it seem that the happiest land
Was trod by the happiest Queen.
A', every. Beck, how. Sic, such.
Bickerin', a fighting Deray, noisy gladness. Syne, then,
fun. Ilk, every. Wauken, awaken.
* Scarlet is the town's livery.
118 A CHIEFTAIN UNKNOWN TO THE QUEEN.
Then mony a chieftain's heart
Beat high 'neath its proud tartan screen ;
But one sullen chief stood afar and apart,
Nor recked he the smile o* a Queen.
" Wha 's he winna blink on our Queen,
Wi' his haffets sae lyart and lean V 9
O ho ! it is Want, wi* his gathering gaunt,
An' his million of mourners unseen.
Proud Scotland cried " Hide them ; oh, hide ! *
An' lat nae them licht on her een ;
Wi' their bairnies bare, it would sorrow her sair !
For a mither's heart moves in our Queen."
Bairnies, infants. Licht, fall. On her een, in her
Blink, look. Lyart, haggard, sight,
Haffets, cheeks, Sae, so.
* The Paisley weavers formed a portion in the retinue of this
sulky chief. At the very time Scotland, with its best foot foremost,
was prancing before its beloved Sovereign, the street orange-sellers
of Edinburgh were ordered " to bed" till the Queen left, by the
same sage authorities that were snoring when the Queen came. So —
so — behind the fairest painting you will find mere canvas — aye,
THE DRUNKARD'S DREAM.
" Who hath woe? Who hath sorrows? They that tarry long at
Proverbs xxiii. 29, 30.
Oh, tempt me not to the drunkard's draught,
With its soul-consuming gleam !
Oh, hide me from the woes that waft
Around the drunkard's dream !
When night in holy silence brings
The God- willed hour of sleep,
Then, then the red-eyed revel swings
Its bowl of poison deep !
When morning waves its golden hair,
And smiles o'er hill and lea,
One sick'ning ray is doomed to glare
On yon rude revelry !
The rocket's flary moment sped,
Sinks black'ning back to earth ;
Yet darker — deeper sinks his head
Who shares the drunkard's mirth !
120 THE DRUNKARD'S DREAM.
Know ye the sleep the drunkard knows ?
That sleep, oh, who may tell ?
Or who can speak the fiendful throes
Of his self-heated hell ?
The soul all reft of heav'nly mark —
Defaced God's image there —
Rolls down and down yon abyss dark,
Thy howling home, Despair !
Or bedded his head on broken hearts,
Where slimy reptiles creep ;
And the ball-less eye of Death still darts
Black fire on the drunkard's sleep !
And lo ! their coffin'd bosoms rife,
That bled in his ruin wild !
The cold, cold lips of his shrouded wife,
Press lips of his shrouded child !
So fast— so deep the hold they keep !
Hark ! that unhallow'd scream ;
Guard us, oh God ! from the drunkard's sleep—
From the drunkard's demon-dream!
CAN YE FORGET?
" My sight
Is dim to see that charactered in vain
On this unfeeling leaf, which burns the brain
And eats into it, blotting all things fair
And wise and good, which time had written there."
Can ye forget yon sunny day
Whan sparkling Ury murmured by ?
Whaur birdies in their blythest way
Poured April sangs athwart the sky ?
How little, little then kent I
Sae fause the lip that prest to mine ;
Oh ! wha could think yon fever'd sigh
Cam frae a breast sae cauld as thine ?
But weel mind I as o'er my head
A wee, wee lanesome birdie sang ;
Sae waesome did its music plead,
I scarce could hide the tear it brang.
Blythest, gladdest. Fause, false. Waesome, mournfully.
Brang, brought. Kent, knew. Wee, little.
Cauld, cold. Sae, so. Weel, toell.
CAN YE FORGET?
My heart maist frae my bosom sprang,
Syne trembling sank wi' bodefu' knell,
For, oh ! I feared that I ere lang
Micht maen in siclike lonely wail.
Sinsyne I Ve kent cauld gloamin' come,
Whan blae and wae the Ury ran ;
Whan cow'rin' birds a* nestled dumb,
An* cheerless nicht lqwer'd o'er the lawn.
Sic time my bursting bosom faun*
The slack'ning gush that nane micht see ;
And aye the licht's unlo'esome dawn
Brang life an' love to a' but me !
I had nae hinnied words to woo,
Nae gainfu' gifts had I to spare ;
But, oh ! I had a heart sae true,
That nocht could shift, that nane should share.
Ae trembling wish alane lived there —
Ae hope that held the witless way ;
That hope is gane, an' evermair
Left darkness owre life's dowie day.
Sic, at that.
Sinsyne, since then.
THE LASS 0' KINTORE.
Air — " Oh, as I was kiss'd yestreen !"
At hame or afield I am cheerless an' lone,
I 'm dull on the Ury an' droop by the Don ;
Their murmur is noisy an' fashious to hear,
An' the lay o' the lintie fa's deid on my ear.
I hide frae the moon, and whaur naebody sees,
I greet to the burnie an' sich to the breeze ;
Tho' I sich till I 'm silly, an' greet till I dee,
Kintore is the spot in this world for me.
But the lass o' Kintore, oh, the lass o' Kintore !
Be warned awa' frae the lass o' Kintore ;
There's a love-luring look that I ne'er kent afore,
Steals cannily hame to the heart at Kintore.
Afore, before, Fashious, annoying. Lintie, linnet.
Awa', away. Frae, /row. Naebody, nobody.
Dee, die. Greet, weep. Sich, sigh.
Deid, dead. Kent, knew. Whaur, where.
124 THE LASS O* KINTORE.
They bid me forget her — oh ! how can it be ?
In kindness or scorn she 's ever wi' me ;
I feel her fell frown in the lift's frosty blue,
An' I weel ken her smile in the lily's saft hue.
I try to forget her, but canna forget —
I 've liket her lang, an' I aye like her yet ;
My poor heart may wither — may waste to its core,
But forget her ? oh, never ! the lass o' Kintore !
Oh, the woods o' Kintore! the holmes o' Kintore!
The love-lichtin' e'e that I ken at Kintore ;
I '11 wander afar, an' I '11 never look more
On the dark glance o' Peggy or bonnie Kintore !
Canna, cannot. Lift, firmament, Saft, soft.
E'e, eye. Love-lichtin', love- Weel, well.
Ken, know. kindling.
DID THEY MEET AGAIN?
Aw a' ye weary licht,
Nae moon nor starnie bricht ;
Oh ! for thy midwatch nicht
An' rayless hour ;
Whan I may gang alane,
Unmarked by mortal een,
An' meet my bosom queen
In her murky bower.
I ken she 's waitin' there —
She 's faithfu' as she 's fair —
I '11 twine her raven hair
Roun' her snawie brow ;
An' vow by earth an' sea,
Hoo dear she 's been to me,
An' thou lone Benachie
Maun hear that vow.
Alane, alone. Hoo, how. Maun, must.
Bricht, bright. Ken, Jtnoto. Murky, dark.
Een, eyes. Licht, light. Nicht, night.
126 DID THEY MEET AGAIN?
We loved — alas ! sae leal !
But this sad nicht maun seal
The lang — the last fareweel
'Tween her an' me.
Whaure'er my fate may guide,
Or weel or wae betide,
I '11 mind wha dwalls beside
Dwalls, dwells. Nicht, night. Wha, who.
Leal, truly. Sae, so. Whaure'er, wherever.
THE LASS WT THE WANDERED E'E.
" Oh ! wha that sang yon sang to me,
That I can ne'er forget ?
Wha is 't that aucht yon lo'esome e'e ?
Sae weel 's I see it yet !
An' cam she frae the far, far east,
The lass wi' the wanderin' e'e ;
The heart lay tremblin' in my breast
To the sang she sung to me !
" Haud doim sic hope ye fond, fond man,
For loveless is her strain ;
She feasts on hearts aroun' her fa'in,
Yet scaithless keeps her ain.
She laughs to ken the bleed-drap fa',
An' gladdens at ilka woun' ;
Oh, turn your wishfu' heart awa',
There 's wae in yon sweet soun' !
Ain, own. Fa' 'in, falling. Sae, so.
Aucht, oto7i8. ¥ne 9 from. Scaithless, unhurt.
Awa', away. Haud, Jiold. Sic, such.
Cam, came. Ilka, every. Wae, woe.
Doun, down. Ken, know. Weel, well.
128 THE LASS Wl' THE WANDERIN* E*E.
" I maunna mind what may betide —
Oh ! send that maid to me,
An' place her near this beating side,
Sae like to gar me dee ;
For I would feast on her fair look
An* lavish on her sang ; —
Her dark e'e is a holy book
In whilk I read nae wrang."
Gar, make. Nae, no. Whilk, which,
Maunna, must not. Sae, 90. Wrang, wrong.
MY HEATHER LAND.
Air—" The Highland Watch,"
My heather land, my heather land !
My dearest pray'r be thine ;
Altho' upon thy hapless heath,
There breathes nae friend o' mine.
The lanely few that Heaven has spar'd
Fend on a foreign strand ;
And I maun wait to weep wi' thee,
My hameless heather land !
My heather land, my heather land !
Though fairer lands there be,
Thy gow'nie braes in early days,
Were gowden ways to me.
Maun life's poor boon gae dark'ning doun,
Nor die whaur it had dawn'd,
But claught a grave ayont the wave ?
Alas ! my heather land !
Ayont, beyond. Doun, down. Gow'nie, daisied.
"Braes, knolls. Fend, struggle for sub- Maun, must.
Claught, catch. sistence. Whaur, where.
130 MY HEATHER LAND.
My heather land, my heather land !
Though chilling Winter pours
His freezing breath roun' fireless hearth,
Whaur breadless misery cow'rs ;
Yet breaks the light that soon shall blight
The godless reivin' hand —
Whan wither'd tyranny shall reel
Frae our rous'd heather land !
MY HAMELESS HA\
Oh ! how can I be cheerie in this hameless ha' ?
The very sun glints eerie on the gilded wa' ;
An' aye the nicht sae drearie,
Ere the dowie morn daw,
Whan I canna win to see you
My Jamie ava.
Tho' monie miles between us, an' far, far frae me,
The bush that wont to screen us frae the cauld warl's
Its leaves may waste and wither,
But its branches winna fa' ;
An' hearts may haud thegither,
Tho' frien's drap awa\
Ava, at all.
Drap, fa 11.
Winna, will not.
132 MY HAMELESS HA\
Ye promis'd to speak o' me to the lanesome moon,
An' weird kind wishes to me, in the lark's saft soun';
I doat upon that moon,
Till my very heart fills fu' ;
An' aye yon birdie's tune
Gars me greet for you.
Then how can I be cheerie in the stranger's ha' 1
A gowden prison drearie, my luckless fa' !
'Tween leavin* o' you Jamie,
An' ills that sorrow me,
1 'm wearie o' the warl'
An' carena though I dee.
Carena, care not. Gars, makes. Soun', sound.
Dee, die. Greet, weep. Warl', world.
Fa', fall, fate. Lanesome, lonesome. Weird, waft.
A LETTER TO J. ROBERTSON, ESQ.
London, June, 1843.
" Instantly on receipt of yours, expressing a wish to see
some of my pieces, I made search and recovered copies of a few
-which had been printed by friends for private circulation. En-
closed is one piece written about two years ago, my wife lately
before having died in childbed. At the time of her decease,
although our dwelling was at Inverury, my place of employ-
ment was in a village nine miles distant, whence I came once a
fortnight, to enjoy the ineffable couthieness that swims around
' ane's ain fireside,' and is nowhere else to be found. For
many months, in that we knew comfort and happiness— our
daughter Betsy, about ten years of age, was in country service;
two boys, younger still, kept at home with their mother. The
last Sabbath we ever met, Jean spoke calmly and earnestly of
matters connected with our little home and family — bade me
remain a day or two with them yet, as she felt a foreboding
that the approaching event would be too much for her en-
feebled constitution. It was so. She died two days thereafter.
On returning from the kirkyard, I shut up our desolate dwell-
ing, and never more owned it as a home. We were but as
strangers in the village, so the elder boy and I put over that
night in a common tramp house. A neighbour undertook to
keep the other little fellow, but he, somehow, slipped away
unobserved, and was found fast asleep at the door of our tenant-
less home. Next morning, having secured a boarding-house
for him (the youngest), I took the road to resume labour at
the usual place — poor, soft-hearted Willie by my side — a trifle
of sad thinking within, and the dowie mists of Benachie right
before me. We travelled off our road some miles to the glen
134 LETTER TO MR. ROBERTSON.
where Betsy was ' herdinV* Poor Bet knew nothing of what
had happened at Invermy. Her mother had visited her three
weeks before — had promised to return with some wearables,
for winter was setting in fast and bitterly. The day and very
hour we approached her bleak residence, that was their trysted
time. She saw us as we stood on the knowe hesitating— ran
towards us — ' Oh ! whaur is my mither ? foo is nae she here ?
Speak, father! speak, Willie!' Poetry, indeed! Poetry, I
fear, has little to do with moments like these. Oh, no ! When
the bewildering gush has passed away, and a kind of grey light
has settled on the ruin, one may then number the drops as they
fall, but the cisterns of sorrow echo not when full — hence my
idealized address to Willie was written long after the event that
gave it existence. With feelings more tranquil, and condition
every way better, it came thus : — "
The ae dark spot in this loveless world,
That spot maun ever be, Willie,
Whaur she sat an' dauted your bonnie brown hair,
An' lithely looket to me, Willie ;
An' oh ! my heart owned a' the power
Of your mither's gifted e'e, Willie.
There 's now nae blink at our slacken'd hearth,
Nor kindred breathing there, Willie ;
But cauld and still our hame of Death,
Wi' its darkness evermair, Willie ;
For she wha lived in our love, is cauld,
An* her grave the stranger's lair, Willie.
Ae, one. Hame, home. Nae, no.
Cauld, cold. Lair, interment. Wha, who.
Dauted, patted. . Lithely, warmly ■• Whaur, where.
Evermair, evermore* Maun, must.
* Herdin' -tending cows.
LETTER TO MR. ROBERTSON. 135
The sleepless nicht, the dowie dawn,
A* stormy though it be, Willie,
Ye '11 buckle ye in your weet wee plaid,
An' wander awa' wi' me, Willie ;
Your lanesome sister little kens
Sic tidings we hae to gie, Willie.
The promised day, the trysted hour,
She '11 strain her watchfu' e'e, Willie ;
Seeking that mither's look of love,
She never again maun see, Willie ;
Kiss ye the tear frae her whitening cheek,
An' speak awhile for me, Willie.
Look kindly, kindly when ye meet,
But speak nae of the dead, Willie ;
An' when your heart would gar you greet,
Aye turn awa' your head, Willie ;
That waesome look ye look to me
Would gar her young heart bleed, Willie.
Whane'er she names a mither's name,
An' sairly presseth thee, Willie,
Oh ! tell her of a happy hame
Far, far o'er earth an' sea, Willie ;
An' ane that waits to welcome them,
Her hameless bairns, an' me, Willie.
Ane, one. Gie, give. Nicht, night.
Bairns, infants. Greet, weep. Sairly, sorely.
Buckle ye, wrap your- Hae, have. Sic, such.
self. Kens, knows. Trysted, appointed.
Gar, make. Nae, not. Weet, drenched.
136 LETTER TO MR. ROBERTSON.
" I shall just mention another incident, though, in point of
order, it .should have been told before. After many months of
hopeless wanderings, my family and I at length found a settled
home at Inverury. Comparative rest and warmth succeeding
to watchful misery, we were, one and all, afflicted with dis-
health. Willie, especially, suffered long, and at last had to
be conveyed to the Aberdeen infirmary. There he had to
undergo a serious -operation. I knew his timid nature, and
went thither to sustain and comfort him through that severe
trial. The operation took place a day earlier than that men-
tioned to me, so it was over ere I arrived. I found him asleep
in his little chamber, and the feelings of that moment are par-
tially embodied in the following lines : — "
" Hospital charities for devastated homes ! Faugh ! Give me my
wages; have I not laboured?"
Wake ye, sleep ye, my hapless boy,
In this homeless house of care ?
Lack ye the warmth of a mother's eye
On thy cauldrife, lonely lair ?
Dost thou clasp in thy dream a brother's hand,
Yet waken thee all alone ?
Thy deep dark eye, does it open unblest ?
Nor father ? — nor sister ? None !
Thy father's board is too narrow my child,
For ills like thine to be there ;
The comfortless hearth of thy parent is cold,
And his light but the light of despair.
Cauldrife, cheerless* Lair, bed.
LETTER TO MR. ROBERTSON. 137
Has God disown'd them, the children of toil ?
Is the promise of Heaven no more ?
Shall Industry weep? — shall thepamper'd suppress
The sweat-earned bread of the poor ?
Alas ! and the wind as it blew and blew
On the famished and houseless then,
Has blighted the bud of my heart's best hope,
And it never may blossom again.
Who are they that beat about in the substanceless regions of
fancy for material to move a tear ? Who but the silken bandaged
sons of comfort ? — ink-bleeders whose sorrows are stereotyped — they
who see life only through the hazy medium of theory, and do at
farthest obtain but a mellow blink of those sickening realities that
settle around the poor man's hearth.
DREAMINGS OF THE BEREAVED.
The morning breaks bonnie o'er mountain an' stream,
An' troubles the hallowed breath o' my dream. !
The gowd light of morning is sweet to the e'e,
But, ghost-gathering midnight, thou'rt dearer to me.
The dull common world then sinks from my sight,
An' fairer creations arise to the night ;
When drowsy oppression has sleep-sealed my e'e,
Then bright are the visions awaken'd to me !
Oh ! come, spirit mother, discourse of the hours,
My young bosom beat all its beating to yours,
When heart-woven wishes in soft counsel fell,
On ears — how unheedful prov'd sorrow might tell !
That deathless affection — nae trial could break,
When a' else forsook me ye wouldna forsake,
Then come, oh ! my mother, come often to me,
An' Hoon an' for ever I '11 come unto thee !
An' thou shrouded loveliness! soul-winning Jean,
How cold was thy hand on my bosom yestreen !
Yestreen, last night*
DREAMINGS OF THE BEREAVED. 139
'T was kind — for the lowe that your e'e kindled there,
Will burn aye, an' burn, till that breast beat nae
Our bairnies sleep round me, oh ! bless ye their sleep,
Your ain dark-e'ed Willie will wauken an* weep ;
But blythe in his weepin' he'll tell me how you,
His heaven-hamed mammie, was " dautin' his brow."*
Tho' dark be our dwallin' — our happin' tho' bare,
An' night closes round us in cauldness an* care ;
Affection will warn us— an* bright are the beams
That halo our hame in yon dear land of dreams.
Then weel may I welcome the night's deathy reign,
Wi' souls of the dearest I mingle me then,
The gowd light of morning is lightless to me,
But, oh, for the night wi' its ghost revelrie !
Bairnies, children, Happin', covering.
Gowd, gold. Heaven-hamed, whose home is in heaven.
* Patting his forehead.
THE MITHERLESS BAIRN.
When a' ither bairnies are hushed to their hame,
By aunty, or cousin, or frecky grand-dame ;
"Wha stan's last an' lanely, an' naebody carin' ?
'T is the puir doited loonie — the mitherless bairn !
The mitherless bairn gangs till his lane bed,
Nane covers his cauld back, or haps his bare head ;
His wee,* hackit heelies are hard as the aim,
An* litheless the lair o* the mitherless bairn !
Aneath his cauld brow, siccan dreams tremble there,
O* hands that wont kindly to kame his dark hair !
But niornin' brings clutches, a' reckless an' stern,
That lo'e nae the locks o' the mitherless bairn !
Aim, iron. Haps, covers. Loonie, boy.
Aneath, beneath* Heelies, heels. Nane, none.
Bairnies, children. Ither, other. Pair, poor.
Cauld, cold. Kame, comb. Siccan, such.
Doited, confused. Lair, dwelling. Till, to.
Frecky, coaxing. Litheless, comfortless. Wee, little.
Gangs, goes. Lo'e nae, love not. Wont, were accustomed.
* In hardy Scotland, it is not always a sure sign of poverty in its
sons and daughters that they are to be seen tripping it bare-footed
from April till Christmas. It is choice ; but when necessity carries
the matter a little farther into the winter, the feet break up in gashes,
or "hacks;" hence hackit heelies.
THE MITHERLES8 BAIRN. 141
Yon sister, that sang o'er his saftly-rocked bed,
Now rests in the mools whaur her mammie is laid ;
The father toils sair their wee bannock to earn,
An* kens nae the wrangs o' his mitherless bairn !
Her spirit, that pass'd in yon hour o' his birth,
Still watches his wearisome wand'rings on earth,
Recording in heaven the blessings they earn,
Wha couthilie deal wi' the mitherless bairn !
Oh ! speak him nae harshly — he trembles the while —
He bends to your bidding, and blesses your smile !
In their dark hour o' anguish, the heartless shall
That God deals the blow for the mitherless bairn !
Couthilie, Jtindly. Nae, not. Wee bannock, a little
Kens, knows. Sair, sore. bread.
Mools, mould. Sang, sung.
THE WEDDED WATERS.
Air—" Kind Robin lo'es me."
Gadie wi' its waters fleet,
Ury wi* its murmur sweet,
They hae trysted aye to meet
Among the woods o' Logie.
Like bride an' bridegroom happy they,
Wooing smiles frae bank an' brae,
Their wedded waters wind an' play
Round leafy bowers at Logie.
O'er brashy linn, o'er meadow fine,
They never sinder, never tyne,
An' oh ! I thought sic meetings mine,
Yon happy hours at Logie !
But Fortune's cauld an' changera' e'e,
Gloomed bitterly on mine an* me,
I looket syne, but cou'dna see
My sworn love at Logie.
Now lowly, lanely, I may rue
The guilefu' look, the guilefu' vow,
That fled as flees the feckless dew
Frae withered leaves at Logie.
Brashy, 'nigged. Frae, from. Sic, such.
Cauld, cold. Hae, have. Sinder, separate.
Feckless, feeble* Lanely, lonely. Syne, then.
Flees, flies. Linn, waterfall. Tyne, lose each other.
THE WEDDED WATERS. 143
But Gadie wi' its torrents keen,*
An' Ury wi' its braes sae green,
They a' can tell how true I Ve been
To my lost love in Logie.
* It is on this stream, which, rising in the parish of Clatt, after
a course of some miles, runs into the Ury, the following beautiful
song was long ago written, and is well known to all the country : —
" I wish I were whar Gadie rins,
'Mang fragrant heath and yellow whins,
Or brawlin' doun the boskie lins,
At the back o' Bein-na-chie !
Ance mair to hear the wild birds' sang;
To wander birks and braes amang,
Wi 1 frien's an' fav'rites left so lang
At the back o' Bein-na-chie.
How mony a day in blythe spring time,
How mony a day in summer's prime,
I've saunterin' whiled awa' the time,
On the heights o' Bein-na-chie !
Ah ! fortune's flowers wi' thorns grow rife,
And walth is won wi' toil and strife ;
Ae day gie me o' youthfu' life
At the back o' Bein-na-chie.
Ah ! Mary, there on ilka night,
When baith our hearts were young an' light,
We 've wander'd by the clear moonlight,
Wi' speech baith fond and free.
Oh ! ance, ance mair/whar Gadie rins,
Whar Gadie rins ! whar Gadie rins !
Oh ! might I die whar Gadie rins,
At the back o' Bein-na-chie !"
"OH, THAT MY LOVE WAS SO EASILY WON!"*
" Oh, that my love was so easily won ! "
Whaur nae love word was spoken ;
Unsought — unwoo'd, my heart had flown —
I canna hide, I daurna own
How that poor heart is broken.
" Oh, that my love was so easily won ! "
The gay an' the gallant hae woo'd me ;
But he — oh, he never sought to share
The envied smile, yet mair an' mair
Yon wordless look subdued me.
Canna, cannot, Mair an' mair, more Nae, no,
Daurna, dare not, and more. Whaur, where.
* The burden line of a very old song, of which the two following
lines are from the wearied lover, who says —
" 1 11 buy an auld horse, and I '11 hire an auld man,
And hurl ye back to Northumberland."
" OH, THAT MY LOVE WAS SO EASILY WON !" 145
" Oh, that my Love was so easily won !"
Oh, that my life would restore him !
He lightlied the love of our pridefu' clan —
My dreams are fu' o' yon friendless man,
But the wrath o' my kindred hangs o'er him.
" Oh, that my Love was so easily won !"
My kin will ye never forgie me ?
I Ve gi'en my heart to a hameless man,
But I '11 wander far frae this friendless Ian',
An' it never mair shall see me.
Forgie, forgive* Lightlied, held cheap, Mair, more.
' The breast that has felt love justly shrinks from the idea of its
total extinction as from annihilation itself."
Oh, say not Love will never
Breathe in that breast again L
That where he bled must ever
All pleasureless remain.
Shall tempest-riven blossom,
When fair leaves fall away,
In coldness close its bosom
'Gainst beams of milder day ?
Oh never, nay !
It blooms where'er it may.
Though ruthless tempest tear —
Though biting frosts subdue,
And leave no tendril where
Love's pretty flow'rets grew ;
The soil all ravaged so
Will nurture more and more,
And stately roses blow
Where daisies droop'd before ;
Then why, oh ! why
Should sweet love ever die ?
ADDRESS TO THE DON.*
" Will it fair up do you think ?" " Aye will 't yet."
" The deil and Don came down that day,
WV a' their Highland fury;
An' vowed to * bear the Bass away,'
Frae bonnie tremblin' Ury."
Dark Don, thy water's rude repulsive scowl
And frothy margin, all too well bespeak
The upland ravages, the conflict bleak
Of mountain winter ; and the maddened howl
Of bruiting elements, distraught and foul,
Have ruffled thy fair course and chok'd thy braes.
• Don rises in Strathdon and receives (besides other small rivers)
Nochty, from Invernochty; Bucket, from Glenbucket; and Ury
from Inverury parishes. It falls into the sea at Old Aberdeen, where
it has a fair bridge of one arch, built four ages ago, about a.d. 1320,
by king Robert Bruce, while this see was vacant by the flight of
Bishop Cheyne — the bridge of Balgownie, celebrated by Lord Byron^s
148 ADDRESS TO THE DON.
Love flies affrightened at thy swollen look ;
The laverock may not hear its own sweet lays
O'er thy fierce chafings, and the timid brook
Sinks tremblingly amid thy surfy maze, I
Thou cold remembrancer of wilder human ways ! s .
So soiled the social tide by some curst deed
Of ancient ruffian or fool — so ages read
To weeping worlds of hearts that bled,
Of patriots and sages that have died
Ere that broad stream was half repurified.
Roll thy dark waters, Don — we yet shall see
On thy bright bosom the fair symmetry
Of vaulted heaven, when the shrill lark pours
Voluptuous melody to listening flowers,
And all of man, of earth, and air shall feel
What hate and darkness hurteth, love and light can
reminiscences. The length of the river Don from above the kirk of
Alford is twenty miles, and twenty-four miles from the said kirk to
the bridge of Balgownie where Don discharges his streams in the
German Ocean close by Old Aberdeen.
The mountain Bennachie, rising with seven tops, on the south is pre-
cipitous and rocky, and is a sea mark. The river Ury rising in a low
hill, not far from the Castle of Gartly, passing through a sterile
valley, whence it struggles through the narrows of the hills, coming
down upon the plain which it divides unequally, with its twisting
channel, falls into the Don at the little town of Inverury. At the
foot and along the whole length of Bennachie, the smaU stream of
the Gadie falls into the Ury a little above the same town. — [Robert
Gordon, of Straloch — Description of Sheriffdoms of Aberdeen and
ADDRESS TO THE DON. 149
For who so dull that may not now behold
Yon cloud-repelling light, yon moral ray
Piercing the night-born mist, the murky fold,
That erst obscured the intellectual day ?
God breathes again in man — those melt, for aye,
Preparing, purifying to the sacred birth
Of virtues hitherto undared on earth.
Slowly, slowly the cauld moon creeps
Wi' a licht unlo'esome to see;
It dwalls on the window whaur my love sleeps,
An' she winna wauken to me.
Wearie, wearie the hours, and slow,
Wauken, my lovie, an' whisper low !
There 's nae ae sang in heaven's hicht,
Nor on the green earth doun,
Like soun's that kind love kens at nicht,
When whispers hap the soun' ;
Hearin' — fearin' — sichin' so —
Whisper, my bonnie lovie, whisper low !
They lack nae licht wha weel can speak
In love's ain wordless wile ;
Her ee-bree creepin' on my cheek
Betrays her pawkie smile ;
Happy — happy — silent so—
Breathin' — bonnie lovie, whisper low !
Ee-bree, eye-brow. Pawkie, sly.
WHISPER LOW. 151
Was yon a waft o' her wee white han',
Wi' a warnin' " wheesht" to me?
Or was it a gleam o' that fause moon fa'in'
On my puir misguided e'e ?
Wearie — wearie — wearie O —
Wauken, my lovie, an' whisper low !
Fause, false. Wauken, waken.
GLAMOURIE; OR, MESMERISM AS WE HAVE IT
Air— " Aiken Drum."
A carlie cam' to our toun,
An' bade our drumster rair an* soun',
Till a* the fouk ran rinnin' doun
T see fat they could see.
Fat think ye o' the carlie,
The glowrin' fykin' carlie,
The fell auld-fashion'd carlie,
Wi' a' his glamourie ?
Some cam* wi' faith, some cam* wi' fear,
An' monie cam' frae far an' near,
Wi' nae a few that cam' to sneer,
An' oh, they lookit slee !
Carlie, little old man. Fell, dangerous, Glowrin', staring.
Drumster, town drum' Fouk, folks. Rinnin', running.
mer. Fykin , troublesome* Slee, sly.
Hair, roar. Glamourie, magic.
An' bureght roun' the carlie,
An' wonnert at the carlie,
An* cried " Fa are ye carlie ?
An* fat a' can ye dee?"
He took my auntie by the thumb,
An* grippet aye my auntie's thumb,
An' aye he squeez'd my auntie's thumb,
An' glowr'd intill her e'e.
Out fie the fu'some carlie !
The ill contrivin' carlie !
He fumm'lt aye ahint her lug,
An* ca'ed her " Miss-Meree !"
He faun' ayont the tailor's tap,
An' cam', gweed life ! on sic a knap !
His Meggy's heart it flew an' lap,
For weel I wot kent she.
But aye the rubbin' carlie,
He blew an' blastit sairly,
Till legs an* armies fairly
Stood stark like ony tree !
Ahint, behind. Faun', felt. Lap, leaped.
An* fat a' can ye dee ? Fumm'lt, felt. Lug, ear.
and what all can Fu'some, mischievous. Miss-Meree, mesmery.
you do ? Glowr'd, looked. Tlxtiobm' snaking pcisses.
Ayont, behind. Grippet at, seized hold Sic a knap, such a
Bureght roun', ga- of. bump.
thered close round. Intill, into. Tap, head.
E'e, eye. Kent, knew. Wonnert, wondered.
Ye Debtors deft, — ye Gravers keen,*
Ye Lovers, too, wha roam alane,
Ne'er look ower lang in ither's een,
In case o' what might be !
For gin ye meet a carlie,
A keekin' cunnin' carlie,
Ye yet may rue richt sairly
The glamour o' his e'e.
Cravens, duns. E'e, eye. Glamour, magic.
Deft, hard up. Gin, if. Keekin', inquisitive.
* A story was current at Inverory that a creditor (craver) had been
mesmerized, and left asleep by his " debtor deft. 1 '
SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY.
[A School of Industry exists in the city of Aberdeen, in which
destitute orphans, and the children of poverty-stricken parents,
are gathered together from the haunts of misery and vice, and
put in the way of earning an honest livelihood. Here let
curiosity, if not kindness, plead for one visit. If they will
not heed yon grim old house, and the helpless outcasts there,
then are we not accountable in whole for the impiety of
wishing that this luckless school had, even at the risk of in-
dwelling cormorants, some share in the beef and boilings
attached to other nests. But, alas ! no droppings here. Here
the cook— honest woman ! — may lick her fingers as innocently
as if she licked a milestone. Nothing in that meagre building
to attract an itchy palm — no elegance therein to reward the
soft eye of taste (?) — nor atone for prunella spoiled ; so, hap-
pily, neither come. Yet, oh ! there is something there will one
day speak in words of fire ; and when that voice goes forth,
happy are they and blessed who have looked in sorrowing kind-
ness on yon shreds of bruised humanity !
" There is hope in heaven — on earth despair."
One thinks it is written on the door, and speaking through each
window— so chilly and forlorn looks our School of Industry I
Yet those cold grey granite walls hold an hundred almost sin-
less hearts in safety. These, but the other day, were gathered
from your lanes and entries— from perdition to peace. There
166 monitor's song.
they are — look on them ; a fountain amidst a desert of souls—
a redemption on earth — the rescued — the snatchings from the
kingdom of darkness. Yes ; there is a treasure therein will
yet speak salvation to the godly minds that placed it there. Ye
that care but for the hour that passes, look to your safety— ye
heedlessly happy ! Know ye not that, in turning the human
impulses from a wrong to a right direction, ye are adding to
your other sweets the sweet of security ; and, by lessening the
number of thieves, ye may eat your crowning custard in calm-
ness, and lessen the chances of losing your dear " three courses."
Go to yon grim residence of forsaken humanity; look care-
fully at these sharplike little fellows, and think of your own
safety. They came not to your world unbidden, and they trill
live. Look at them again'— fine, rude, raw material there,
ready to be manufactured for better, for worse. Think of the
thing in an economical posture. In these hundred boys, as they
are being trained, you have an equivalent for a thousand patent
locks, forty policemen, four gaols, two transports, and one hang-
man. Look on these lads again — then turn to that little box,
if you have a sigh and a sixpence about you — God bless you,
leave the sixpence at any rate! There comes the monitor,
leading in two ragged little strangers — brothers they seem.
That look of the elder boy searches for one's heart, and should
find it too, as his lustrous blue eye fills over his only " kin" — his
little brother — already gladdening under the strange comfort
of shelter. You gave the sixpence ? Well, if the monitor's
song please you, give the sigh, too, and " Haste ye back."]
Air — " Prince Charlie's farewell to Skye."
Come Brither bairnies,wan and worn,
And hide ye here frae cauld and scorn ;
The blast that tears your weary morn
May fan your warmer day, boys.
monitor's song. 157
We work and wish, and sich and sing,
And bless the couthie hearts that bring
Ae smile to soothe our surly spring ;
We '11 a* be men when we may, boys !
Your Mither sank before the lave —
Your Father, Sister, sought a grave;
And ye, wee bodies, were left to crave
A warl's cauldrife care, boys !
But now ye '11 work, and hope, and sing,
Nor needfu' fear how fate may fling ;
The Honey may come ahint the Sting,
And Heaven will send your share, boys!
Oh ! were the heartless here to see
The wrestling tear that fills your e'e,
Your wee, wee Brith'rie, daft wi' glee,
Wi' breast and armies bare, boys !
But aft unkent we greet and sing,
And ply the warp and netting string ;
Oh ! wha would slight that holy thing,
An orphan's trembling prayer, boys ?
Ae, one. Lave, the rest, the Unkent, unknown.
Couthie, kind, loving* others. Wee brith'rie, little
Greet, weep. Sich, sigh. brother.
158 monitor's song.
A hundred hearts are heaving here,
That loup to gladness, grief, and fear ;
And weel bless they the lips that spier
How orphans fend and fare, boys !
Oh ! blithely work and blithely sing —
There *s nane can tell what Time may bring,
Sae freckTd the feathers that mark his wing,
So changefu' evermair, boys !
Fend, make shift. Loup, leap. Spier, ash, inquire.
THE STKICKEN BKANCH.
[Whoever he is whose destiny leads him from "the spot
where he was born," let him prepare for many queer things,
even in our own enlightened land. Is he a journeyman
weaver ? shoemaker ? tailor ? Then just let him try to set up
doing for himself in a small country town. If he does not
"catch it" then from the brotherhood (brotherhood?), he is
one in whom Providence assuredly takes a special interest. In
every small community there is a vehement working of the
Keep-out system, which is only changed for the Keep-down, A
stranger is never welcome beyond the rule of " buy and come
again" The "Income" is a denounced animal. To wrong
him in name and property is all for the common weal.
The following is reluctantly inserted to show how far hu-
man Ingratitude may be carried — reluctantly, because these
verses seem to bear on some vagrant misfortune of the writer,
and to reflect on the Sympathy, Justice, and Liberality of our
enlightened, Free-trade-loving, Universal-brotherhood-advocat-
ing, fellow Burgher, Bailie ThinclaithJ]
'T was a cauld cauld nicht, and a bauld bauld nicht,
When the mad wind scoured the plain ;
An* monie bonnie bush lay streikit and bare,
Drown'd deid in the pelting rain.
The lilac fell a' broken and bent,
Wi' the leafless woodbine torn and rent ;
And aye as the storm would swither and swell,
Anither bush brak* — anither bush fell.
Swither, hesitate, lull.
160 THE STRICKEN BRANCH.
A Nettle stood strong in his native mud,
Rank King o'er his native bog ;
He withered aye in the clear daylight,
But he fattened aye in the fog.
He stung every flow'ret, — cursed every sweet :
He spared nae the Docken that happit his feet ;
For this was the song that the auld Nettle sung,
" Darkness and dung, Beetles, darkness and dungT'
[And the black Beetles chorus it, " Darkness and
In that cauld lang nicht, in that dark lang nicht,
When the wild winds scoured the plain,
An unkent Branch of an unkent tree
Was tossed near the Nettle's domain.
An' the weary — weedlike — withering thing,
Lay low at the lair of that Nettle king ;
Where nane might dare a byding place,
But that King and his kindred Hemlock race.
The bonniest half o' that Branch sank deid,
An' its wee, wee bud unseen ;
The ither took root an' reared its heid,
Wi' its twa three Twigs alane.
Heaven, pitying, held the wild wind fast,
An' the Stricken Branch out-lived the blast ;
The kindly sunbeam settled there,
The branches braid'ning mair and mair ;
And monie bonnie bird wi' willing wing,
Had welcome there to nestle and sing.
Docken, docks. Happit, covered. Unkent, unknown.
THE STRICKEN BRANCH. 161
But, oh! how the Nettle grew grim and dark,
An' fumed in the shadow beneath ;
How he bullied his legion of Beetles black !
An' his Hemlock dews of death !
The Beetles sought sair for a fallen leaf, —
But the hundred eyes of the Hemlock Chief
Could reach no farther than just to see
The deep, deep green of the Stranger Tree.
[To record a sympathy in the well-earned gratitude owned
by all to Lieutenant Dooley and his brave crew, is the best
apology at hand for taking this long hold of the " Herald.** I
don't know Lieutenant Dooley, nor any other lieutenant, but I
know there is more good in saying one fisherman than in
sinking seven ships— barring the glory thereof.
u Weel may the boatie row,
And better may she speed."
We had the gratification, on Thursday afternoon, of witnessing
one of the most affecting scenes that a person could have much
chance of encountering in the course of a long life. It was no
less than the meeting of fifty-three fishermen, whose lives had
for a time been despaired of by their rejoicing relatives. It
was a scene that no philanthropist should have lost, and one
that none who witnessed it will be ready to forget
About four o'clock on the morning of New-year*s day, the
boats belonging to this port put out to sea, trusting to the ap-
pearance of the weather. A part remained inshore, while nine
of them made for the deep-water fishing. About six o'clock
the moon set in a thick lowering bank in the north-west. The
portentous omen was read aright by the fishermen, who, putting
"up helm," rowed with might and main for the shore. The
boats near the coast succeeded in reaching it ; hut the others
were taken by the hurricane eight miles from land, and,
THE FISHERMEN. 163
although they struggled on with stout hearts and willing
hands, the wind, waves, and blinding snow were all against
them, and, instead of making any headway, they drifted before
The wives and children, fathers and mothers, of the missing
fishermen, looked upon themselves as bereaved of their only
earthly support, and the objects of their fondest affection. Of
some families there were three, of others four, amissing ; and
the greater part were more or less connected with one another.
To almost every house the touching language of the prophet
might have been applied — u There was a voice heard, lamenta-
tion, and weeping, and great mourning ; Rachel weeping for her
children, and refusing to be comforted, because they were not.**
Through Monday night and Tuesday, this dreadful suspense
continued; and eagerly was the post of Wednesday morning
waited for, as the ultimatum that should extinguish the little rem-
nant of hope that was clung to by the unhappy community, or
bring the anxiously prayed for news of the safety of their
friends. The preservation of all was scarcely to be looked for,
but their fondest hopes were more than realized. Intelligence
came that all were safe ; and when the glad tidings were carried
to Footdee,* the sudden revulsion from the extremity of sorrow
to that of joy was evinced by the warmest transports, after a
thousand fashions. Some poured forth warm, heartfelt thanks,
someweeped, some danced, some sang; but one feeling ani-
mated all — the deepest, purest, and most intense joy that can
fall upon the heart of man.
The fishermen, after struggling for hours against the tempest,
lost all hope of outliving it. Their boats were fast filling with
water, and becoming entirely unmanageable; and, even had
there been any possibility of working them, the poor men, with
a few exceptions, were unable to stir themselves; they had become
completely exhausted, and so benumbed with the piercing cold, as
to be incapable of handling their oars. Death, in two forms, was
staring them in the face, certain in the one or other. There
was help at hand, however, when least expected. The Grey-
* The fishing station.
164 THE FISHERMEN.
hound cutter on this station, commanded by Lieutenant Dooley,
while running before the wind, came in sight of the boats about
eleven o'clock, off Findonness, and bore up to them. The
greatest difficulty existed in taking the men from their frail
crafts. Some of them were old and feeble, and in such a state,
from wet and exposure, that made it necessary, as seamen say,
to "parbuncle" them; while the storm had risen to such a
height that the mainsail of the cutter was carried away, and
her work of mercy in some measure retarded. A trysail was,
however, soon hoisted in its place, and, after an hour or two,
the whole of the poor men were stowed away in warm berths
or dry clothing, and all their wants most kindly attended to by
the warm-hearted commander and his gallant crew. Nor did
their endeavours cease with the preservation of the lives of the
fishermen; every attempt was made to save their property
likewise. The boats were all made fast astern by a five-inch
hawser, but the increasing storm dashed them one by one
against another, stove them in, and soon rendered it necessary
to set them adrift. The cutter then made for the Frith of
Forth, and the whole of the fishermen were landed at Leith.
At four o'clock on Thursday afternoon, the whole of the
fishermen reached their homes, when the scene was the most
touching that could be imagined. About six or seven hundred
in all were present — young and old — men, women, and children.
LINES SUGGESTED BY THE ABOVE DISASTER.
'T was the blythe New Year, when hearts are mov'd,
Like fairy wind harp ringing,
To the breathing smile of friend belov'd,
In whisper dear — in noisy cheer —
Nae fash, nae fear — the good New Year
Sets the good old world asinging.
THE fishermen: 165
Bat, oh! it is dark in the fisherman's cot,
With the lively and lovely there ;
Tho' the cold, cold wind, with its icy throat,
Falls fiercely— yet one hears it not,
Thro' sob, and sigh, and prayer.
So that should be — when the terrible sea
Speaks woe to the trembling earth —
Hope wing'd away with the closing day,
Now cold despair wraps all things there,
And scowls o'er the fisherman's hearth.
Man dies but once — oh, say it not !
He lives again to die,
Whom the surly, surly sea has taught
The hope-dissolving sigh ;
When the stubborn arm that strains for life
Falls feebly on the oar ;
When the loved last look of child and wife
Swims wildly o'er the settling strife,
Oh, Death ! what canst thou more?
LINES TO MISS LUCY LAWRENCE OTTLEY.
Written at Nauh, July, 1841.
You may not love the lay
Unhallow'd by a tear,
And she that 's far away
Claims all that I can spare ;
But when I let her ken,
How you have pleasured me,
She winna grudge it then
Ae parting tear to thee.
When other hours recall
The joys that I ha'e seen
In England's happy hall,
On England's flowery green,
When my own native lark
Floats o'er my native lea,
What can I then but mark
Its kindred melody ?
LINES TO MISS OTTLEY. 167
For never yet mair sweet,
Has lark or mavis sung ;
And, oh ! that face to meet
That saftly witching tongue !
My lastening heart will prize
Your sang o' sweetness mair
Than carrols frae the skies,
Wi' a' its gladness there.
My lowland lassie sings
Far sweeter than the rest ;
And a' her leal heart rings
In sangs that I love best.
Sae whan her soul-filled strain
Fa's trembling on my ear,
Oh ! but I '11 mind them then, —
The sangs you sung me here.
When o'er thy violet brow,
And on thy changing cheek,
And 'neath that breast of snow,
A thousand throbbings speak.
Oh, may the favoured ane
Thy fair perfections see !
And love with love alane
Befitting heaven and thee.
[An ancestor of James Adam Gobdon, Esq., the present Laird
of Knockespock, (a) about a century and a half ago, in a second
marriage, had taken to wife the lovely Jean Leith of Hart-
hill (b). His affectionate lady watched the chamber of her sick
husband by day and by night, and would not divide her care
with any one. Worn out and wasted from continued attendance
on him, she fell into a sleep, and was awakened only by the
smoke and flames of their burning mansion; the menials had
fled — the doom of the dying laird and his lady seemed fixed.
In her heroic affection she bore her husband from the burning
house, laid him in a sheltered spot, and forced her way back to
the tottering stair, through the very flames, for " plaids to wrap
Ae wastefu' howl o'er earth an' sea,
Nae gleam o' heaven's licht
Might mark the bounds o' Benachie (c)
That black and starless nicht.
Siclike the nicht, siclike the hour,
Siclike the wae they ken,
Wha watch till those lov'd eyes shall close
That ne'er may ope again.
Licht, light. Siclike, suchlike. Wae they ken,
Nicht, night. Wha, who. they feel.
knockespock's lady. 169
As gin to tak' the last lang look,
He raised a lichtless e'e ;
Now list, oh, thou, his lady wife,
Knockespock speaks to thee !
" Sit doun, my Jeanie Gordoun love,
Sit doun an' haud my head ;
There 's sic a lowe beneath my brow
Maun soon, soon be my dead.
" Aye whaur ye find the stoun, oh, Jean !
Press there your kindly hand ;
I wadna gi'e ae breath o' thee
For a* else on my land.
Your couthie word dreeps medicine,
Your very touch can heal ;
An', oh, your e'e does mair for me
Than a* our doctor's skill !"
She leant athwart his burnin' brow,
Her tears lap lichtly doun ;
Beneath her saft, saft, dautin' hand
Knockespock sleepit soun\
For woman's watch is holiness —
In woman's heart, sae rare,
When a' the warld is cauld an' dark,
There 's licht an' litheness there !
, all. Lap lichtly, leaped Maun, must.
, one. lightly. Sic, such,
uthie, kindly. Licht, light. Stoun, throbbing pain.
latin', fondling. Litheness, warmth. Wadna gie, would not
n, if. Lowe, burning. give.
ind, hold. Mair, mare, Whaur, where.
What 's yon that tints the deep dark brae,
An* flickers on the green 1
It *s nae the ray o* morning greyj
Nor yet the boimie meen t
Drumminor'stcf) bloody Ha 1 is bright,
Kildrunrmie's(e) ana' tower clear,
An 1 Noth's(/) black Tap ca's back the licht
To gowden Dunnideer.Q?)
Yon gleed o'er fast and fiercely glows,
For licht o T livin* star,
An* lo ! it marks wi* giant brows,
The mnrky woods o' Mar. (A)
The drowsy deer is fain to flee,
Beyond Black Arthur's (i) hicht ;
An* birdies lift a timorous e'e,
To yon ill-bodin 3 licht*
Whaur Bogie (h) flows, and Huntly(/) sho'
On high its lettered wa's;
An' far far west on Cabrach*s(m) breast,
The ruddy glimmerin 1 fa's*
Whaur nionie a Forbes and Gordoun sleeps^
On Tillyangus(tt) deem* ;
An* Mar's road sweeps, 'mid their cairn's grey
The fiery flakes are flecin\
Ca f , eastn.
knockespock's lady. 171
An* aye the flare that reddens there,
Knockespock weel may rae ;
Nor Gadie's(o) stream can dit the gleam
That wraps his dwallin' noo.
Yet woman's love, Oh, woman's lore !
The wide unmeasured sea
Is nae so deep as woman's love,
As her sweet sympathy !
Upon the wet an' windy sward
She wadna lat him down,
But wiled an' wiled the lithest beild
Wi' breckans happet roun'.
Knockespock 's cauld, he 's deadly cauld —
Whaur has his lady gane ?
How has she left him trembling there,
A* trembling there alane?
An' has she gane for feckless gowd,
To tempt yon fearfu' lowe ?
Or is her fair mind, wreck'd an' wrang,
Forgane its guidance now?
She fearless speels the reekin' tow'r,
Tho' red, red is the wa',
An' braves the deaf nin' din an' stour,
Whaur cracklin' rafters fa'.
Wadna, would not.
172 knockespock's lady.
It is na gowd, nor gallant robes,
Gars Jeanie Gordoun rin ;
But she has wiled the saftest plaids
To wrap her leal lord in.
For woman's heart is tenderness,
Tet woman weel may dare
The deftest deed, an 1 tremble nane,
Gin true love be her care.
" The lowe has scaith'd your locks, my Jean,
An 1 scorch f d your bonnie brow ;
The graceless flame consumes onr hamc
What thinks my lady now ?"
" My locks will grow again, my love,
My broken brow will nien\
Your kindly breast ■* the leale&t hame
That I can ever ken ;
u But , Oh, that waesome look o* thine,
Knockespock, I wad gi'e
The livin' heart frae out ray breast
For aught to pleasure thee !"
Weel, woman's heart ! ay, woman's heart I
There grows a something there,
The sweetest flower on hank or bower
Maun nane wi* that compare*
Wiled, cho§e; Aber-
dome£, for waled.
[Lest the reader mistake me as aspiring at Scholarship in
the following notes, let me say this, — they were selected * and
proposed by my friend Enockespock. In assenting to his
insertion of them, I decline all responsibility. — W. T.]
Knockespock — Burns — Highland Harry,
(a) Knockespock. (" Bishop's Hill "), so called from haying been the
occasional residence of the Roman Catholic bishops of Aberdeen, is
situated to the north of the Suie Hill, a continuation of the western
shoulder of Benachie in the parish of Clatt, of which last the Barony
was conferred by James I. of England and VI. of Scotland " on his
well-beloved James Gordoun of Knockespoke." Clatt was erected
into a Burgh of Barony with all rights, &c. by King James IV. in
1501, some years previous to the Battle of Flodden. The ancient
mansion having been destroyed by fire, as the Poet herein describes,
nothing remains of it but one old tower, the rest of the mansion be-
ing of modern construction. The water is remarkable for its purity,
and on accurate analysis proves to be more pure than that of
In the poem of Surgundo, written on the exploits of Sir Adam
Gordon, of Auchindoun, in which the letters of every name are
quaintly transposed, there are the following verses on one of the pos-
sessors of Knockespock : —
" Four of most famous note the rest among
For valiant acts in many a bloody fight,
Paesenneock truely termed the loyall knight." — p. 29.
" Loyall Pasennock -
aids him mightilie." — p. 61,
The domestic affairs of Knockespock have many years ago been
the subject of verse, in a lilt which records the unfortunate results
which attended an attachment between Henry Lumsden, and
a daughter of a lady of Knockespock, ending in the death of the
* Chiefly from the Spalding Club Volumes; The Advocate8 ,
Library MS.; popular traditions; Buchanan; County Records;
Songs, Lilts, &c — K.
Burnt* Uncle Burwes—Harthffl—Leith of Mart hill.
lover, and the despair of the lady* la the country, far and near, it is
still recited* The burden of her remonstrances to her mother, of
" t wad gie a' Knockcspock's land,
For ane shake of Harry's hand/'
is natural and pathetic, and so pleased the poet Bums, that he
transferred it as a chorus to his song of '* Highland Harry." Most of
Bums* editors have applied it to a farm of almost the same name,
Knock espie, near one of Burns' residences in Ayrshire, but Allan
Cunningham in his edition has placed the whole matter correctly,
and shown that those lines existed before Burns was horn, and the
source whence he derived them.
Burns, on his first visit to Aberdeenshire called on an uncle Burner,
whom he had never before seen , and whose descendants, Burnes&es,
yet reside on the same farm, at Boghead, near In veruiy,— showed
his MS 3* to the cannie auld farmer, and mentioned his intention of
publishing. The uncle was silent a while, unable to utter the horror
working within. At last it burst forth, — If Worthless., senseless man !
how could ye think o' bringing a stain on kith and kin', by makin*
Godless ballets?" Happily for the world, unhappily perhap? fur
himself, Ins advice displeased the poet. A late servant of the writer
of this, Matthew Sharpe Glen dinning, informs him that when a boy
in Dumfries he perfectly remembers Burns as an exciseman coming
to his mother's house.
At Knockespoek is a very large sword several feet in length, almost
a fac simile of the one carried before Prince Charles Edward in 1745,
exhibited in the Tower of London, but destroyed in the fire there a
few years since, and some carved panels of arms of 1682, The high-
way from Edinburgh to Inverness passes by Knockespoek, little
used of late years except by cattle drovers. The Highland distillery
line passes close by the mansion.
(h) Harthill, a castle long possessed by the Leiths of Harthill.
chiefs of that name, the heir of which family was beheaded at
the Cross of Edinburgh, for his loyalty, by the Marquis of Ar^yle,
36th October, 1647, being scarce 25 years old, having been taken
prisoner with his garrison in the house of Ward es close to Dunohker,
by the celebrated General David Lesley * It is reported of him, that
having obtained a commission from the Marquis of Montrose, but
having no horses to mount his troop, and hearing that Craigivar of
the opposite party with his troop were lying at Invorury,by night made
all prisoners, and with their horses mounted his own troop, making n
good appearance in a day or two before Montrose, who highly com-
Bennchie^Camp — Roman Rotid^Mowyfmt.ik —A IdimUoch—Lo-
gie o 1 Bucha n — Lochmtgar— Drumm in or— Forbes — A rioato.
mended his conduct and courage. There is also a more affecting
history connected with this old castle, namely, that while Ilarthill was
imprisoned at Edinburgh, his castle was beset, and his wife, children,
kd servants taken out, end<-hot one by one before the gate,. The walls
it evident marks of fine, being rent in several places from top to
bottom t yet they are erect, very strong, being about five feet thick,
and forty feet high, with round towers, bartlsans, lonpholes, an
arched gateway and turret, and chimney vents above ten feet wide.
This ancient ruin stands forward under the dark screen of Benachie,
as to attract the attention of the traveller along the high road from
avert! ry westward} from which it lies a mile distant,
(c) ** Might mark the hounds of Benachie.*'
Benachie, the chief hill in the Garioch is Benachie, a mountain
out seven miles long, it has seven heads, the chief of which being a
ound peak, is called the top*
On the highest point is an immense British Camp which had. been
used by the Romans when wrested from the natives. A causeway
road may still be traced up the north side of the hill to it, which,
heyond all doubt,, is a Roman work* (See the note to the Blind Boy's
Second Prank, page 58.) Benachie signiSes the hill of the paps or
nipples from Ben, or Pen, a head, and Chiod, a nipple (Gaelic)* It
is a sea mark. An old verse says,—
k" Til ere are two landmarks off at sea,
Glochnabin and Ben ac hie."
It was one of the king's forests of old,
On the south it is precipitous, and overhangs the river Don and the
fertile vale of Moneymusk — Moneyinosk known favourably to the
dancing world by its spirited Strathspey. In fact Benachie is sur-
rounded by spots redolent of harmony, — Aldivalloch, Logic o'
Buehan, The Gadie Rins, and Mill o' Tittle's Annie. Of late it has
been ascertained that there wure singing schools in every parish three
or four hundred years ago, and the church music of the cathedral of
Aberdeen was so celebrated that foreigners resorted thither to hear
It; the very motto of the town, u Bon Accord/* smacks of music.
From the top of Benachie, and In the same county of Aberdeen,
the dark " Lochnagar, M which inspired George Gordon, Lord Byron *s
muse, is dearly seen in the remoter Highlands*
( d) u Drummmor's blood t/ fta\ tf
Drum inn or > for many centuries the chief residence of the Forbes
1am Hy, and called Castle Forbes till It was sold off, when It resumed
Featt ot Dmrnminor — Robert Bruce.
it* ancient Gaelic no mo, and the name of Castle Forbes was given to
the present seat of Putachie, in the parish of Keig, close to the liter
Don. The name was pronounced For-bes> which is consistent with
the verso of Aiiosto —
** SignorittForbesseil forte Armano."
who describes the clan as Joining Charlemagne's army against the
A reconciliation feast was once held there, to which their here-
ditary enemies the Gordons being invited were seated alternately with
the Fortieses* The ** toddy "having got uppermost in the noble Forbes's
upper story, in a fit of oblivious delight he stroked hi* venerable
beard — a signal hitherto understood to convey a hint, that each
Forbes should make the ribs of his neighbour acquainted with his
dirk. The hint was taken, and the Gordons rolled in their gore.
Great portion of the ancient castle was destroyed by fire, but
the entrance tower still remains of red sandstone, with three coats
of arms over the thick iron-studded door to a winding stair of
easy and wide ascent* The walls are enormously thick ; a hand-
some and convenient mansion has been attached by the present
possessor, Mr. Foularton Grant, in the Elizabethan or James I.
In the adjoining kirkyard of Kearn, it is said that sixteen barons
of Forbes are buried. The estate marches with that of Knockes-
pock. Druminnor lies within a mile of Rhynie, celebrated for its
cattle fair, and where Hacbeth's sons were a lain, and about three
miles from the Butniiiit of the Tap of Noth, which is seen to the
greatest advantage from it.
(e) " Kildrummie'S sna* touer dear,**
This castle, a royal palace, the chief seat of the Earls of Mar, En
which district of Aberdeenshire it stands, is in ruins, but some re-
mains of it are very interesting. The " sna tower J * h built of a white
stone, whence its name* This castle, so remote among the hills, was
the refuge of Robert Brace's queen and his brother Nigel; but
being besieged by the Earl of Salisbury, ie was taken, and they
were made prisoners, Nigel was hung at Berwick, hy hated
Edward, as a traitor! and the queen inhumanly treated, Near
the castle Is a pleasant shooting-lodge of Colonel C. Gordon, of
Wardhouse, It was the centre of Mar's rebellion in 1715. The
KUdrummie— Tap of Noth— Dunnideer— Arthur's Round Table.
church is distant; and in 1813 had a tomb of one of the Erskines,
Earl of Mar, and his Countess.
Near Eildrummie are a large number of Pictish houses under
ground, of most curious construction, which are often visited.
Eildrummie is about seven miles from Knockespock, by the Mar
(/) "NotKs black Tap."
The Tap of Noth is a lofty eminence, rising to a green cone at the
western end of its dark heather ridge. It is surmounted by an area,
surrounded with the debris of vitrified fortifications, which are coal-
black. There are only two others like it in Scotland, one Craig Phatric,
near Inverness ; some have thought it an extinct volcano, and its
form is favourable to the conjecture; and there are found small masses
of vitrified matter at some miles around; but the fort seems un-
deniable. The Bogie runs at its foot, and it forms one of the entrance
hills to Strathbogie.
In the midst of the vitrified fort of the Tap, which may cover
about one and a half acre, there is a well.
This mountain, with the greater part <of the surrounding country
to the north and west, is the property of the Duke of Richmond, the
heir of the Dukes of Gordon.
(g) " To gowden Dunnideer."
Dunnideer. On a lofty green conical hill stand the ruins of the
castle of Dunnideer, looking at a distance like a huge Druidical
remain. It was built by King Gregory, who died here 893. There
is a tradition that the hill has gold ore under it, because the sheep's
teeth which feed upon it turn yellow, and that the name of the hill,
Doun d'or, signifies the golden mount. The castle is built in the
midst of a vitrified fort.
In Jhon Hardyng's map of Scotland, constructed about the year
1465, appear " the castells of Strabolgy, of Rithymay, of Dony
Dowre ;" and the writer seems to indicate the place as one of those
where King Arthur held his Round Table, so famous in old ro-
mance ; —
" He held his household and the Rounde Table
Sometyme at Edinburgh, sometyme at Striveline,
Of Eynges renowned and most honourable;
At Carlysle sumwhile, at Alcluid his citie fyne,
Emong all his Knightes and Ladies full femenine;
And in Scotlande, at Perthe and Dunbrytain,
In Cornwaile also, Dover, and Cairelegion ;
Jlar—Earti of Mar—Mar*s Mehett'um^ 17 1 &— A riotta—Buckm.
At D unbar , Duofirse, and St. Jobn*a Toune,
All of worthy Knights moo than a legion,
At Donydoure also in Murith region.
And in many other places both Citie and Toune/'
(A) * The murhj woods of Afar."
Mar, the Highland district of Aberdeenahire, very extend™
and mountainous- In the forest of Mar, in the very heart of the
Highlands, are the celebrated Scotch firs in the midst of the most
splendid scenery imaginable « It was under the pretence of great
hunting matches in this remote district, that Erskjne, Earl of Mar,
whose chief seat was the castle of Kildrummie, concocted the
Re bell ion of 1715, which ended in hia ruin and confiscation* The
Earldom had been in the family of the Mara, which, having
reckoned nine ear la, ended under King David the Second. Through
a daughter it came to the Earls of Douglas, then the Stewarts* then
the Erskmes, the Cochranes, and to James Stuart the Regent, Earl
of Murray, natural brother to Queen Mary, who restored it to the
Erskines. James the Eighth created the last John Earl of Mar u
Duke in 1715, thua fulfilling Ariosto's prophecy two hundred years
previously, who in his Orlando Furioao writes, on the muster of I lit
Scottish auxiliaries sent over to Charlemaine,
" I/altra handiera e del Dtica di Marra."
" Trasone intauto, il buon Duca di MaiTa,
Che ritrovarsi all* alta impreaa gode,
Ai cavalieri suoi leva la abarra ,
E seco in vita alio famo&e lode,"
Mar is a regality; it abounds with red deer. The writer saw In
the church of Kildrummie, in 1813, a flat atone, with the eftigies of
one of the Erskines s Earl of Mar, and hia Countess. The forfeited
estates were computed at 1678J. sterling, of which only 31 7^ were
paid In money, the rest hiring paid in barley, oatmeal, capons, hens P
chickens, geese, linen, and peats.
Aberdeenanire has been peculiarly honoured by Ariosto ; not unJy
has Mar been recorded in his Orlando, and aa we have just seen the
clan of the Forbes 1 *, but the following lines refer to Buchan and ib
" Quell* a v oil or che un drago verdtr lania,
El' insegua del coute di Itoccaniu."
Black Arthur j qf Forbet' ', Grim — Bogie river— Strathbofie—
Alexander , ZJufte of Gordon — Hunthj,
(/') u Beyond Black Arthur's hkhL"
Block Arthur's Itfcht* One of the highest hills In this part of
the country, covered with heather to the top, is called Arthur's
Cairn, some suppose from a cairn or sepulchral heap being raised
to the memory of Black Arthur of Forbes, who, it is reported, by
wfty of exercise used to run up to the top of it from Druminnor (then
Castle Forbes) in heavy armour. He was slain in the battle of
Tillyangus, hereafter mentioned.
(*) " Wliere Bogie flows:*
Bogie. The river Bogie rises in a wild hill glen, called Glen-
bogie, and passing by Rhynie — on the moor of which it is said
the sons of Macbeth were slain (as also that Macbeth himself
died at Lumplianan, a parish a few miles distant)— flows
some dozen miles down the Strath, which takes its name from it.
recently rather celebrated for its Fast and Free Kirk differences,
until it falls into the Deveron under the walls of Huntly Castle,
which however, as well us the town around it, used to be called
Strath bogie. It was from this vale that the best warriors of the
Gordon clan were taken, and there is a very old defiance of— *
u Wha wou'd misca' a Gordoun on the raea o' Strathbogie V
There is nothing picturesque in this fertile valley, unless it be the
windings of the Bogie, so remarkable for its peculiarly blue colour;
whereas the Deveron into which it falls is very dark.
It would not be just, or grateful, in the writer to omit mention here
of the well known Song, composed by Alexander, late Duke of
Gordon, one of the best musicians and lively poets in that line of
u There 's cauld kail in Aberdeen,
There -s castocks in St rath bogie,
And monie a lad maun hue his lass,
But I maun hae my cogie/* * &c. &c#
In Duke Alexander, the Poet might, and ievnld f have found a
triotic patron, who from his own could duly estimate the worth
d genius of others,
rt II unc saltern accumuJem donis et fungar Inani,
" Munere ! "
■ and Huntly abates
On high iU fettered worn?
Hunfltjn This castle is one of the finest ruins in Scotland, It
fact consists of two castles— one, the oldest, Strathhogic Castle,
• Cogie, rt drinking cup*
^Lbchaher—Badcnoch— Cattle rf Ttmr*.
the stronghold of the Cnmuiin, whom Robert Bruce stabbed at
Ike altar of Dumfries, and who, on the Bruce proving ficto*
ricaa, forfeited his immense possessions, which were made over by
that king to his faithful follower Gordon, in whose descendants
it has continued ever since, though by marriages with females the
present family are Setons, and the real head of the clan by the
males is Gordon of Pitlur^. To show the ex teat of the possession,
which may be said to stretch across the island from the east coast
of Aberdeenshire to Ben Nevis on the west, in 18 13, the writer
was informed that the Duke could ride in almost a straight line
for one hundred and forty miles on his own property. Since that
the Gordons have bid ** farewell to Lochaber " and to u Badenoeb, tT
after having been lords of them for five hundred years, they bavin
been sold oft'. On the occasion of the late Duke's marriage th
writer sat down at Gordon Castle with forty-four gentlemen of I
name, all of considerable landed property , and to show how widely
it is diffused in Aberdeenshire, his was the forty-ninth of that na
on the roll of magistrates of that county*
The other castle joining to the former was built in 1602, and
habitable till within the last fifty years, when one of the duke**
factors in his absence despoiled it of its roof and a great part of its
freestone masonry to repair farm-houses ! The round tower, very
lofty, and ornamented, with walls of tremendous thickness, capable
of sustaining heavy cannon, reminds the traveller of some of th
towers of Beideiburgh ; and it is said that it was built by an Earl
of Euotly, who, having been banished by party feud, was made
governor of the castle at Tours, in France, and built this on a similar
plan. The sculpture, over the low but principal entrance, of coati
of arms and figures, though much defaced, is still remarkable for it:
execution; but the chimney-piece in the grand saloon, nearly twenty
feet high, displaying the arms and orders of the two then United
Crowns, with the different family arms, and mottoes, and legends, with
two figures in armour, one leaning on the great Highland double*
handed sword, the other with the Scottish pike flanking both aides
of the fire-place, and supporting the entablature, all executed in
the red and white stone of the country! may well vie for design, for
colouring, and for feudal associations, with any chimney-piece at
Hatfield, or Burleigh, or any houses in England of a similar dale
and style of architecture. The display of the Royal arms, carved in
atone over the great hall chimney-pieces in this castle, in Craigievar,
and the oldist cnatles in Scotland, confirms the address of 1
Earl of Angus to Lord Marmlon, at Tantallon . —
Huntly Cattle— Lettered wall*— Doing* of Earls of Huntly—Buck
of the Cabrach — Ordnance Survey — Craig.
" My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation-stone."
Along the curtain of this magnificent building, and about sixty
feet from the ground, run two parallel bands of stone, on which are
inscribed in Roman capital letters of two feet in height,
" George Gordoun, first Marquess of Huntly,"
" Henrietta Stbuart, first Marquise of Huntly."
Hence the "lettered walls." In the interior of the castle
there are several carved chimney-pieces in stone, one of which,
supposed to be in the state bed-room, represents the effigies,
nearly the size of life, of the founder and his haughty wile.
Some of the feudal and almost unmentionable proceedings of some
of the ladies of this castle, and of its lords too, as relating to the
clans Grant and Macintosh, not to mention others, may be found in
Sir Walter Scott's Tales of a Grandfather, and tend to reconcile one
to living in an age of Railways and Steam when the humblest
weaver may indulge his poetical fancy, and delight with his effusions
the trans- Atlantic and far distant Indian worlds, without having his
head or hands chopped off for the offence.
(m) " An far far west on Cabrach* s breast,"
Cabrach. There is another version of this stanza too true to na-
ture and poetry to be omitted.
It whitens o'er the gladless grey,
Of Cabrach's rugged breast,
But Tilly angus' bloody brae
Frowns redder than the rest."
The Buck of the Cabrach is the highest mountain in these parts,
rising gradually to a point. At the foot of it lies the burn, and what
was once the mill of Aldivalloch, but of Roy's wife's habitation there
remains nothing but the hearth stone.
On the summit of the Cabrach is one of the stations for the
triangular ordnance survey, which, although it has been thirty
years about, does not seem to have done much, although the
country are paying largely for it. The country about here is very
backward, and it is said that if they can save one crop out of four,
they consider themselves well off! The burn of the Cabrach
descends to the eastward through the picturesque glen, and imme-
diately under the House s of Craig, allowed to be the most romantic
Arthur Johmton, p&et of Cathhhrn—Ltne* ad Gordon in m
(jack 1 1 ii<> nlHH A uchindore Chapel,
and beautifully kept place in that part of the country, and a lil
lower down under the ruins and burying- ground of the anciei
church of Auehindoir, (of which, however, the beauties can hardly be
discovered, owing to its being enveloped in ivy, and looking more like
a bush than a ruin,) falls Into the Bugle, Arthur Johnston thus a<
dresses Gordon of Craig, otherwise Gonlonium CragachindoriLim :
* Sicclne, Gordoni, Cabriis affixus crieis,
Urbe procul, rupes inter, et antra* late*?
Quid juvat mgenio genium vicisse Minerva;,
Ingeuii dotes si aims usque premi?
Quid jurat, Aonite foutes siccasse cohortis,
61 lruitur stodiis Cahrla solatuisl
Quid pi a odest, mores hominum vldissc, vel urbes,
Nulla tuam si res pub Ilea sen tit ope in ?
Hie ubl tu latitas, nil prpeter lustra ferarmn,
Et ceeli volueres, saxaque surda vides.
Nullum hie, qui doctas haurire aut reddere voces,
Aut a te qnidqu&m dlseere possit, babes-*
Barbara gens tota est, et inhospita terra, p ruin is
Semper, et u^stivo sub Cane, mersa nive. 1 '
The poet was born at Caskieben, a castle belonging to hie family
situated on a rising ground s a few hundred yards east of Keithall
close upon Inverury* Describing his native place, he writes : —
* Mille per ambages nitidis argenteus undid
Hie trepidat lostos Urius inter agro*.
Explicat hie seraa mgens Bennaehius umbras
Nox ubi libratur lance diesque pan,
Gemmifer est amuis, radiat mo us ipse laplllb,' 1 he.
Arthur Johnston received the degree of M>D, at Padua, 10 10, aft
settled in France, In 1633 he returned to his native country, wa
appointed physician to Charles L, and died at Oxford, 1641,
classical elegance of his verse, and thu purity of his Latin in hi:
translation of the Psalms, and his other poems, has been long acknow-
ledged. Arturi Johnstoni, Poemata omnia, p, 362. A new edition Si
about to appear.
* Not only voices, words, but even sentences, are reported to hav
been heard occasionally in the ruined chapel of Auehitidoir, whlc
have created great interest, and some alarm. Does the poet allude r
Cabrach— Six Scotch Knights— T'dlyangitA—Surgimdo— Last clan
battle in Scotland — Forbes and Gordon— Black Arthur slain.
The Cabrach most hare been the very cradle of those she valiant
knights, who for so many centuries effectually fought for, and
maintained the Honour and Independence of Scotland.
" Three Knights fair Scotland did defend,—
Sir Moss, Sir Muir, Sir Mountain ;
Three more to these their aid did lend, —
Sirs Hunger, Cold, and DountinV*
(n) " On Tilly angus deein\' y
Tillyangus. This place, formerly a lairdship, is about a mile and
a half from Knockespock, and now belongs to that property.
Here was fought, October 9, 1571, the last regular clan battle in
Scotland between the Gordons and the Forbes's, on the heather
above the present toun (as it is called in Scotland), which means
generally a small cluster of habitations.
John, Master of Forbes, who stood up for James VI., then a
minor, had one hundred and twenty of his men surprised and killed
by Sir Adam Gordon, of Auchindoun, Huntly's brother, who fought
for Mary (Queen of Scots). The political differences of these great
clans had been aggravated by the ill conduct of Forbes to his wife,
who was sister to the Earl of Huntly. Tilly angus lies a mile and a
half from Knockespock, where the Gordons coming from the
south to go northwards to their own country, mustered for several
weeks, while the Forbeses had their outpost half way between
Tillyangus and Castle Forbes (Drumminor). At length they met—
The Gordons were far more numerous than the Forbeses. This,
however, was compensated by the bravery of Black Arthur, second
brother to the Lord Forbes, a man of a daring and active temper,
who was completely armed, and slew many of the Gordons with his
own hand. After a gallant fight the Forbeses gave way, retiring to-
wards Castle Forbes. Black Arthur, with a chosen few, protected
their rear. In crossing one of the small rills descending from the
hills he was slightly wounded, and it is said was offered quarter,
which he refused, fighting on, till in his retreat he crossed the hollow
of another small burn. Here, overcome with thirst, he stooped to
drink, and by doing so an opening in the joints of the armour was
made, through which one of his pursuers coming rapidly upon him
thrust his sword and killed him. The Gordons now followed rapidly
their flying foes, who took refuge in Castle Forbes. After two days
* DQur.tin' , fighting.
Castle Forbes siege— Attempt in Paris to assassinate Sir Adam
Gordmt by a Forbes — View from Mar road — Gadie*
ineffectual siege the Gordons abandoned their attack upon the Castle,
and proceeded northwards, having, in the death of Black Arthur,
struck a mortal blow at the power of the rival clan,
The bitterness, however, of feudal revenge survived, and some of
the Forbes family determined to avenge Black Arthur's death upon
the opposite lender, Sir Adam Gordon* Sir Adam having gone to
Paris with several gentlemen of his snite was received with great dis-
tinction by the French king (Charles). The Archbishop of Glasgow
was then ambassador from Scotland to the court of France, and in-
vited Sir Adam and his friends to a splendid supper. On his return
from the Archbishop's hotel to his lodging about midnight, he and
his train were set upon by armed men, and it was only after a severe
struggle in which Sir Adam received a shot through the knee that
the assassins were put to flight, In the pursuit, one of them dropped
his hat, which being picked up appeared to have belonged to one of
the name of Forbes, Inquiries having been set on foot, the whole
conspiracy was traced, and the leaders of It put to the rack, and
The Mar road passing by Knoekespock is a green turf rood hi the
midst of the heather, winding along the side of the hills to Kildnim*
mie, affording along the whole way very pleasing views of a large
portion of the Garioeh, Strathbogie, and Mar, the Tap of Noth, the
Buck of the Cabraeh, Huntly Castle, Drumminor, Craig*, Leith Hall,
Gordon Hall (other wise Wofdhouse), Clova, Glenbogiej the rivers
Gadie and Bogie.
(o) Gadie, see " The bedded Waters/' p. 142, 143,
INDEX OF PEESONS AND PLACES.
Aberdeen, City of Old, 147, 148
„ Bishops of, 17a
„ Cathedral of, 71.175
„ Diocese of, 116
46. 51. 68, 69, 70.
84. 91. 111. 116,
„ Herald, 40. 53. 164
„ Journal, 41
„ Infirmary, 136
„ School of Industry,
„ Shire of, 39. 108.
175, 176, 178. 180
Aberdeen, Earl o£ 116
Abernethy, Sir Wm., 69
Adam, Jas., Esq., 40. 86
Alcluid (Glasgow, on the
Aldivalloch, 175. 181
Anderson, Lieut.-Gen. An-
drew, 79, 80
Angus, 68, 69
„ Earl of, 180
Aoth, King, 98
Argyle, Marquess of, 174
Ariosto, 176, 178
Arthu*, Black, of Forbes, 170.
179. 183, 184
„ King, 177
Auchindoun, Sir Adam Gor-
don of, 173. 183
„ Wolf of, 77
Balgounie, Bridge of, 147, 148
Balguay, 24, 26
Balquhain, 67. 69. 71
Balquhidder, Braes of, 14
Banff, Sheriffdom of, 148
Bass of Inverury, 98. 147
Belmont-street, Aberdeen, 7
Benachie, 58, 59. 70. 98. 104.
125, 126. 133. 143. 148.
168. 173. 175
Ben Nevis, 180
Birnam Wood, 85
Blackstone, Judge, 56
Boccania (see Buchan)
Bogie, 170. 177. 179. 182. 184
Bon Accord, 175
Bruce, King Robert, 74. 147.
INDEX OP PERSONS AND PLACES.
Brace's Queen, 176
n Nigel, 176
Buchan, 69. 178
„ Earl of, ITS
„ Constable of France,
„ Logie of, 175
Burleigh House, 180
Bums (Poet), 174
Byron, Lord, 13. 147. 175
Cabraeh, 170, 181, 182. 184
Cabria (see Cabracli)
Cairelegion (Caerleon), 1 77
Cardiu Brig and Muir, 65
Cauld Kail in Aberdeen
Chambers, Robert, 21
Chantrej, Sir Francis, 5*2
Charles L, King, 116
„ King of France* 1 M
Charles Edward, Prince, 174
Cheyne, Bishop, 147
Gheynes of EssUmont, 115
Clatt, Barony of, 173
„ Pariah of, 143, 173, 174
Cooper, John, 27
Craig, House of, 181, 182. 184
Craigievar, 174, 180
Cromwell Park, 32
Cunningham, Allan, 52, 174
Cupar- Angus, 21
David JX t King, 71. ITS
Davidson, Sir Robert, 69
Don, 54.68,69,98. 1-23. 147,
Donald of the Isles, 68
„ Tomb of, 70
Donnydowre (*e« Dunnideer)
Dooley, Lieut., 162, 1C4
Douglas, Earl of, 71. 178
Drum, 69. 71
Dramdurno, 59, 60
Drumrainor, 170. 175, 17f».
179. 183, 184
Drummond (of Ilawthorn-
Dumfries, 174. 180
Dunbritayn (Dumbarton), 177
Dundee, 21. 23. 110
Constable of, 68, 69
Dunfirse (Dumfries), 178, 179
Dunnideer, 170. 174, 177,
INDEX OF PERSONS AND PLACES.
Eachin Rusidh ni Cath, 71
East Indies, 79
Edinburgh, 48. 116. 118. 174.
Edward L, King, 176
Elgin, 78. 80
„ Cathedral of, 77
Elizabeth Thorn (see Thorn)
Elphinstone, Sir Robert Horne
Dalrymple, Bart., of Logie,
England, 52. 166. 180
Errol, 29, 30. 32
Erskines, Earls of Mar, 177,
„ Cheynesof, 115
„ Miss Gordon of, 1 1 5
Ettrick Shepherd, 14
Fetterneir, 67, 68, 69. 71
Firth of Forth, 164
Forbes, 71. 170. 175, 176. 178,
179. 183, 184
„ Castle of, 175. 179.
Forgue, 1 15
Forfarshire, 5. 21
Foundland Hill, 115
France, 180. 184
Gadie, 58. 98. 143. 148. 171.
Garioch, 39. 54. 58. 175. ,184.
„ Chapel of, 69
Gartly, Castle of, 148
German Ocean, 148
Gillespie, Elspet, 84, 85
Gilzean, Marjory (Gillan), 78
Glasgow, Archbishop of, 184
Glendinning, Matthew Sharpe,
Gordon's Hospital, Aberdeen
Gordon Hall, 184
Gordon, Robert, of Straloch,
„ of Craig, 182
„ Miss, of Essilmont,
„ Brace's friend, 180
„ ofPitlurg, 180
„ Sir Adam, of Auch-
indoun, 173. 183, 184
Gordoun, George, First Mar-
quess of Huntly, 181
„ Alexander, Duke of,
„ Col. Charles, R. A.,
Gordon, Barron and Co., 46.
Gordon, Clan, 170. 176. 179.
Gowrie, Carse of, 24. 30. 32
Grant, Clan, 181
Grant, Foulerton, 176
Gregory, King, 177
Hardyng, Jhon, Chronicle, 177
Harlaw, 59. 68, 69, 70, 71. 98
Harthill, 168. 174, 175
INDEX OF PERSONS AND PLACES.
Hatfield House, 180
Hawthornden, 70. 115
Hector Rufus Bellicosus, 71
Highland Harry, 173
Highland Distillery Line, 174
Huntly, Earl of, 71. 180, 183
„ Marquess of, 181
„ Marquise of, 181
„ Castle of, 170, 179,
Inverness, 70. 114 177
Inverury, 8, 39. 43, 47. 54. 68.
70. 74, 98. 110. 133. 134.
136, 148. 152. 134. 174 T
„ Sir Alexander of Drum,
Isles, Lord of the, 70
James I. of England, 173
„ IV. of Scotland, do, 173
„ VL „ do, 173,
„ VHL „ do. 178
Jamie, 112, 131, 132.
Jessie, 93, 94
Johnston, Arthur, 182
Kildrijunnrie, 170. 176, 177,
Kinnaird, 24, 27, 28
KintOTe, Lass of, 123, 124
Knockespock, James Goidoun
„ George, 168, 169.
„ JeanLeith, (Knock -
espock's Lady T )
„ James Adam Gor-
don, 27- 41. 42,
44, 43, 49, 50, 52.
„ Emma Katherine,
Dedication to, 52
„ Water, Marches, &c.
„ Place, 173, 174, 177
168, 183, 184
Lauchlan Lubanich, 71
Leith, (Town) 79, 164
Leiths, 168. 174
Leith Hall, 184
Leopold I. Emperor, 71
Leslies of Balquhaln, 71
„ Walter, 7 1
„ John, 71
„ Count, 67, 68. 70
Leslie, Andrew, 69
Leslie's Cross, 69
Lesley, General David, 174
Logie o* Buchan, 175
„ Elphinstone, 65, 142,
INDEX OF PERSONS AND PLACES.
London, 21. 51, 52. 79. 116.
„ James, 69
Lumsden, Harry, 173, 174
Macferlane's Collections, 70
Macintosh clan, 181
Macintosh, 68, 69, 70
Maclean, 68, 69, 70
Maiden Stone, 61
Malvern Water, 173
Mar, 39. 170. 178. 184
Mar, Earls of, 68, 69, 70. 176
Mar's Road, 170. 177. 184
Mary, 91, 92. 96
Mary, Queen of Scots, 71, 183
Maules, The, 68
Maule, Sir Robert, 69
Mearns, 68, 69
Menzies, Sir Thos., of Cults,
Methven, 33, 34, 35
Mill of Tiftie's Annie, 175
Montrose, Marquess of, 175
Moore, Thomas (Anacreon) 13
Morayshire, 77. 178
Mortimer, Isabel, 69
Murith (see Morayshire)
Murrays, The, 68
Murray, Earl of, Regent, 178
Murray, Sir Thomas, 69
Naish House, 166
Newton, by Old Rayne, 98
Newtyle, 5. 21, 22
New York, 191
Niel Gow, 16
Nigel, Bruce, 176
Noth, Tap of; 170. 176, 177.
Ogilvie, Sir Alexander, 69
„ George, 69
Old Rayne, 98
Orlando Furioeo, 175. 178
Ottley, Lucy Lawrence, 166
" Peasant, worthy," name un-
Peggy of Kintore, 124
Perth, 32, 177
Pictish Houses, 177
Pitlurg, Chief of Gordon Clan,
Pittodrie, 58, 59, 60, 61
Ravenscraig Castle, 108
Rhynie, 176. 179
190 IN HEX OF PERSONS AND PLACES.
Richmond, Duke of, 177 i
Thorn, Jean or Jeanie, 36.
97. 133. 138
Robertson, J., Esq,, 133
„ Jeanie, 25. 27, 28
Ross, Earl of, 70
„ William, or Willie,
Round Table, 177
25. 47. 51, 133, 134,
Roy's wife, 181
135, 136. 139
„ Elizal>eth, or Betsy,
Salisbury, Earl of, 176
47. 5L 133, 134
„ James, or Jamie, 47,
Thomas the Rhymer, 98
Scotland, 52. 57.69. 98. 115,
Thompson, Dr., of Inverury,
114 117, 126.96.36.199*
Tillyangus, 170. 179. 181. 183
Scott's, Sir Walter, Tales of !
Tours, Castle of, 180
a Grandfather, 181
Scrymgeour, Sir James, 68,69
Shelley, 108. 121
Spalding Club, 116.
Steuart, Henrietta, 181
St. Johnstoune, 178
Stirling, Alexander, 69
Ury, 54.57,58. 68. 70. 97,98.
121, 122, 123. 143, 147, 148
n Sir Alexander, 69
Straloch, Robt, Gordon of, 148
Strathbogie, 39. 177. 179. 184
Striveiine (Staling), 177
„ Tower, 71
Stuart, James, Earl of Mur-
Wallenstein, Count, 71
Wardhouse, or Wardes, 174.
Sute Hill, 173
Surgundo Poem, 173
Weekly Chronicle, 48, 49
Tannahill, poet and weaver, 14
Willie, the Torter, 91
Tantallon Castle, 180
Tay, 97, 98
Thinelaith, Bailie, 159
Thorn, William, 50,51
Ythanside, 114, 115
THE AUTHOR'S ACKNOWLEDGMENT.
In taking leave of my readers for a time — I trust
we may meet again — I would just like to allude to
certain matters resulting from the First Edition of
this little book. For its success, and the good
things that followed, my prime thanks are due to
the Public Press : It, with little exception, ex-
hibited the best portions of my book, with the
best effect. Above all, they found in my narrative
and song a text from which they worked a powerful
and enduring sympathy towards the Trade-stricken,
whose sorrows and shiftings are but too feebly told
in my own experiences.
That same is no mean reward.
A selfish and personal pity teas never sought
for by me, — nor had I a single wish all the
while beyond the utterance of my private feelings,
and the pleasure such utterance affords to a stifled
and unregarded suffering. I made no appeal. Yet
there have arisen many friends willing to see me
above the chances of qgain tasting the evils I
attempted to describe. From these friends I have
received a sufficiency to make good a beginning, —
192 the author's acknowledgment.
enough, with ordinary prudence, to carry me and
mine safely onwards. The details of what I merely
now hint at, are well recorded, and will be spoken
of another time. But now Pride alone (Gratitude
unmentioned) urges me, on the instant, to acknow-
ledge handsome donations, from my countrymen
and others, in New York and Calcutta, accompanied
by kind and earnest expressions of regard. These
sums are now invested for the future good of my
three children. Whatever else we possess will be
applied, with our best industry, for our common
June 4th, 1845.
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with which we are acquainted." — Eclectic Review.
" The graphic style of the writing, and the high artistical character of the embellish-
ments, bear out the description of these volumes in the title. The author has seen every-
thing with an artist's eye, and recorded it with an artist's pen." — Church of England
" Mr. Angas writes as an artist ; and he does not write the worse for that. We can see
what he sees, because he understands the art of word-painting. All that he writes is
eminently objective. There is an individuality in his descriptions which brings the scene
or the person vividly before our eyes. It is nature— it is life — that is presented to us."—
" Mr. Angas is just such an exploralor, observer, and artist as we could wish to send
out to any part of the world, civilised or uncivilised, of which we wished to have a lair
description. Now Australia and New Zealand, of which so much has been written, are,
as regards the pencil, almost undescribed countries, while they present, in the novel
aspects of nature, much to interest, and as the Geld of colonization, appeal to deeper feel-
ings than those of mere curiosity. * * The whole work is full of entertainment." — Patriot.
" Mr. Angas has evidently a passion for travelling, and nature has, in many ways, fitted
him for this arduous pursuit. His style is joyous and readable, and we know not when
we have read two volumes containing so much that is new and interesting." — Jerrold't
" These are two volumes of good artistical description, with much of finer staple than
the title-page promises. Mr. Angas observed nature in the Southern hemisphere with a
painter's eye, and has thrown much poetical feeling into his impressions of it."—
" He has not the bias or coarseness of many who have gone out to the antipodes ; be
has a better taste, in some sense a more cultivated mind, and is lifted above the aUas-
sphere of Colonial partizanship." — Spectator.
" After a careful reading of these two volumes, we pronounce them, without any hesi-
tation, to afford on the whole the most faithful pictures of savage life in Australia and New
Zealand yet published."— Weekly Chronicle.
" Mr. Angas has happily shown the present state of the countries he has seen ; and we
will venture to say that his experience amongst the inhabitants of New Zealand extendi
farther than that of any adventurer who maty hvi* ?****&*& VAtu"— D<m^/«t Jernlft
ME. JAMES'S NEW NOVELS AND EOMANCES.
CA8TLE OF EHRSNSTSXN:
Its Lords Spiritual and Temporal ; its Inhabitants Earthly
and Unearthly. By G. P. R. James, Esq. Author of " Heidelberg,"
" Tbe Stepmother/' " The Smuggler/' &c. &c In 3 vols, post 8vo.
price 11. 111. 6rf.
«* This is undoubtedly one of the very best of Mr. James's Novels. The interest never
flags throughout. It gives a most vivid picture of old German Chivalry ." — Weekly
** We know not when we have been more— or indeed so much — gratified by the
perusal of a work of fiction. It presents a great variety of well and strongly drawn
characters. * * * We doubt whether Mr. James were ever more successful." —
Naval and Military Gazette.
M This Romance is the best which its author has produced for a long time. It will
prove very popular at the libraries."— Critic.
" We have a notion that Ibis will prove the most permanently popular of all Mr.
James's Novels, for it is compounded of those materials which delight all novel readers."
«* Mr. James has laid the scene of this tale of the 15th century, on the banks of the
Shine. Admirable descriptions supply pictures of the period, such as the author can
draw so well ; he realises the superstitions of that age, and fills the dreaded unknown
at vividly as the actual and familiar of customary existence." — Literary Gazette.
A Romance. By G. P. R. James, Esq. Three vols, post 8vo. price
By G. P. R. James, Esq. In 3 vols, post 8vo. price 1U 11*. 6rf.
ARRATT MSXIij Or, TIMES OF OLD.
By G. P. R. Jambs, Esq. Three vols, post 8vo. price 1U 11*. 64.
A Novel. By G. P. R. Jambs, Esq. Three vols. post 8vo. price 11. 11*. 6d.
ME. JAMES'S CHAKLEMAGNE.
HISTORY OF CHARLEMAQVE,
With a Sketch op thb State and History of France, from the
Pall of the Roman Empire to the Rise of the Carlovingian Dynasty.
By G. P. R. Jambs, Esq. A new edition, in demy 8vo. price 12a. cloth.
AUTOBIOGKAPHY OF A NEGBO SLAVE.
LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF ZAMBA,
An Africa Negro King, and his experience of Slavery in South Carolina.
Written by Himself. 1 vol. post 8vo., with Frontispiece, price 7a 64.
m I was personally acquainted with the African negro named Zamba, vrhosft W%Usc*
■era related, and dorin/r a residence of several years in Ch%t\tiKAA\^T&\TUu^&«
Vm* tbe hading Incidents or bis life. 1 have, therefore, no A<wmV<Atofc>raSfc^^*-
t contained to ibis narrative."— Editor's Preface.
4 WORKS JUST PUBLISHES BY
LEIGH HUNT'S SELECTIONS FROM THE ENGLISH POET
I. IMAGINATION AND FANCY. II, WIT AND HU9IOU!
Bound hi cloth, with gilt edges, price 10?, (14. each.
Each volume is complete In itself, nwl preceded by an Essay illustrative
of the qu.il i lies respectively exempli Hue I in the select ions ; the be*t pea*
ages are marked and commented upon, and each author is characterize' I
In " Imagination and Fancy/* Mr. Leigh Hunt has given an
answer to the question "'What is Poetry?" in an Essay that form* ttn
Introduction to the whole range of poetical Invention ; one r
which— the purely imaginative and fanciful — is investigated in a spirit
critical and genial en joy merit.
u Wit ANi> HtTMOUB* is prefaced by an illustrative Essay, exemplify-
ing the various modes in which these qualities have been manii'<
Prose, and Poetry.
Opinions of the Press on Wit and Htmoi-r,
"The design or this delightful series extends beyond a collection of olegnnt extract*,
While it combines the host features of such collections* The two volumes ahead)
published are precisely the hooks one would wish to carry for companionship on j
journey, or lo haveai band when tired of work, or at a loss shot in do for want or il
They are selections or some or I he hesl things some of our best authors lu
accompanied with short but delicate expositions and enforcements of their beauties.
Tbey are truly most genial, agreeable, and social hewks/'— A'.ra hm'jh'i*.
"This is really a delightful volume, forming a proper complement and companion bO iti
predecessor on * Imagination and Fancy/ Each of tbein gives us the best passages of thv
best writers, in their respective kinds, illustrated by one who will himself leave no mean
remembrance to posterity in the spirit of genial criticism, informed by a deiica'i
of discrimination, What more could literary epicures: desire V — Mumin^
u IT we were to choose I he subject and Ihe author of a fireside hook for the long winter
evenings, we should certainly call some such volume as this into existence. The ree4tf
will look for exquisite things in litis book, ami he will find a great deal more than he loofc
for in the prodigal resources opened up in its pages. It is the very essence of the manful
qualities from English poets/' — sttlas.
u There is something genial in the very tide of this volume; and it does rmi I
title. *Wit aud Humour/ forms a pendant lo 'Imagination and Fancy/ bj 'he ssnr
author. A like design is embodied in bolh works. The booh is at once eibilaraitni; wi
suggestive : it may charm frivolous minds into wisdom, and austere ones into mirth/*—
Op j n Um$ of t he Press on I m A g i n ati o N an d Fa n o v .
" This volume is handsomely printed, and beautifully hound in a new style of re-
quisite delicacy and richness. In external beauty * Imagination and Fancy * equals ani
gin-books that have appeared; and il will form a more enduring memorial than ant
other volume that might be selected as a gift for (he coming season/' — Spectator.
11 This is a Christmas gift, worth half a dn*cn of Ihe Anmmlt put together, and a I lulf
the cost of one or them. We have often wished for such i honk, and in our aspirate
the name oT Leigh Hunt has ever presented itseET as that of the man above all other*
qualified to do justice lo so charming a subject ." — Muming Cftranicfr,
"The rolumc is, we trust, th^ precursor of many more, which will complete and fa
justice lo Ihe plan. The series so completed would be Ihe best * elegant .extracts* in I Mi*
I a ngu age.' ' — Exti m in n*.
fi This is a charming vol um e : both externally and inlernatly il is most attractive/'— .-ttlai.
u It is a hook thai every one who has a taste must have, and every one who has not
should have in order to acquire one.** — Jmskts Megu&iM*
" This book is tastefully got up, and we should think better of the house where *•
saw a well-read copy of it lying aboul."— 7Vii7\v- Mttg&sinf.
** These illustrations of 'Imagination and Fancy 1 are distinguished by great criliral
sagacity, and a remarkable appreciation of those qualities/'— Hviaid.
The Third Volume of this Series, illustrative of
"ACTION M9D VA.SSIOW T "
\YUi appear Uv t\vc A.vxlvxvxuu
SJMULTtf* EUMDk AVB CO.,
THE OXFORD GRADUATE ON AET.
Volume the First. By A Graduate of Oxford. A New
Edition, revised by the Author, being the Third. In imperial 8vo.,
uniform with Vol. II.
SECOND VOLUME OF "MODERN PAINTERS."
Treating of the Imaginative and Theoretic Faculties. By a
Graduate of Oxford. In one volume, imperial 8vo., price 10s. 6d.
M We are prepared emphatically to declare, that this work is the most valuable contri-
bution towards a proper view of painting, its purpose and means, that has come within our
knowledge." — Foreign Quarterly Review.
" A work distinguished by an enlightened style of criticism, new to English readers,
and by the profound observation of nature displayed by the author."— Dublin. University
" This is the production of a highly gifted mind, one who has evidently bestowed time
and labour to obtain a practical knowledge of the fine arts, and who writes eloquently,
feelingly, and fearlessly." — Polytechnic Review.
" It has seldom been our lot to take up a work more admirably conceived and written
than this beautiful and elaborate essay. To a perfect idea of the scope of the inquiry,
and a mastery of all the technicalities required for its due treatment, the Graduate unites
considerable metaphysical power, extent of philosophical and scientific knowledge, a clear
and manly style of expression, and no inconsiderable command of humour and satire." —
"The Oxford Graduate is a bold revolutionist in art Avery Luther in
art-criticism He has asserted and established the claims of Landscape
painting to a much higher rank than it hitherto enjoyed The second volume
of this remarkable work rises above the first. . Indeed, we question if any but a high
order of mind will embrace the full grandeur of its design, or follow the masterly analysis
- by which its propositions are elucidated." — English Gentleman.
M The author now comes forward with additional force, and, we must hope, with still
higher effect, on the public taste He directs his attention in the present
volume from the individual artists to the art itself." — Britannia,
ON THE SITE OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE.
With a Plan of Jerusalem. By George Finlay, Esq., K.R.G., Author
of" Greece under the Romans/' — In 8vo., price 1*. 6rf.
A NARRATIVE OF THE RECOVERY OF H. M. S.
(Charles Hotham, Esq. Captain), Stranded in the Bay of Monte
Video, May 10, 1844. By Astley Cooper Key, Commander, R.N.,
(late Lieut, of H. M. 8. Gorgon). 1 vol. 8vo. with numerous Plates.
Price 7«. 6d. cloth.
OUTLINES OF SOCIAL ECONOMY,
Written specially with a view to inculcate upon the rising generation the
three great duties of Social Life :
1st. To strive to be self-supporting— not to be a burthen upon Society.
2nd. To avoid making any engagements explicit or implied, whether
with persons now living or yet to be born, for the due performance of
which there is no reasonable prospect.
3rd. To make such use of all superior advantages, whether of knowledge,
skill, or wealth, as to promote to the utmost the general happiness of
Foolscap 8vo., price 1*. 6d. half-bound.
%• The Publishers have instructions to supply to National &ctaolv Rttt&iki \
and Foreign Schools, and to all schools supported b^NoVniVKr^ Go^x^Xwa^ \
a limited number of copies, at 6d. each.
6 WORKS JUST PUBLISHED BY
THE JESUITS IN ENGLAND.
THE NOVITIATE; or the JESUIT IN TRAINING.
Belntf A Year among the English Jesuits : a Personal Narrative.
By An d r e w St e j n m k t 2 . *Sec< > n d Ed i t i on , w J tb Mem oir and Portrait
of the Author. In one vol. post 8yq. price 7a, Gtf* bound En cloth.
"This is a remarkable 000k— a rovealer of secrets, and full of materials for thought,
. . . . It is written villi every appearance, of strict and honourable truthfulness, It
describes, with a welcome minuteness, the dally, nightly, hourly occupations of lae
Jesuit Novitiates at Siofiyhurst, their religious exercises and manners, in private and
together ; ami depicts, with considerable acuteness and power, the conflicts of an intefli-
gent, susceptible, honest- purposed spirit, while passing through such a process. If our
readers should foe disposed (0 possess themselves of this volume, il will be their owa
fault if the reading of it he pro Hi less/' — British Quarterly Betnete.
u This is as singular a book of its kind as bas appeared since Blanco Whtle'i
'Letters of Doblado/ with the advantage of dealing with Uie Jesuits ia England, instead
of Popery in Spam, .... It will be found a very curious work/* — Spectator,
"If it be desirable to know what is that mode of training by winch the Jesuit system
prepares its novices for their duties, this is the book la inform us, for it la a chronicle if
actual eipcrieoee* . * . The work uf Mr Suinmel/. is throughout marked by great
fairness, ... be neither conceals nor exaggerates; a spirit of candour panada
the whole narrative. . . , Could we know Ihe experience of oilier novices, 1
find that all have undergone, with more or Less intensity, the process so vividly described
in this volume* ■ . * It is written in an extremely animated style. The author**
thoughts are original, and the passages relating to his personal history and feelings are
agreeably introduced* and add to the interest of his narrative* It is a suflieieni proof flf
his accuracy, that, though the Jesuits have many pens in litis country, not one has been
hardy enough to impugn a sentence of his statements." — Britannia.
" Mr. Sieiunieiz writes a most singular and interesting account of the Jesuit semi-
nary, and his way of life there. . . , He seems to be a per Fee I ly honest and tireAHl
infoimcr, and his testimony may serve to enlighten many a young devotional aspirisl
who is meditating 'nnftrtflfntir* to Rome, and the chain and scourge sy si ems. There &
nothing in the leasL resembling invective in the volume "^Morning Ckrmtirle*
"At a lime when Jesuitism seems Id be rising once more, any work on this subject
comes very opportunely. Uow the writer became a member of this rays tern
gives a key to the character of the man himself, and the spirit of his hook. . • N
narrative is well written, and as interesting as we expected."— Wee kly CftrtmicU,
M Tb* work bas all the interest of a romance, and yet we do not believe that any partial
of it is fictitious. . » * The author writes well, and evinces a strong and disciplined muni.
The picture he draws or Jesuitism is a fearful one* The reader will Dnd abundant mntitf
for grave consideration In this most singular and striking volume.*'— J& hn BulL
" A more remarkable work it has seldom been our fortune to peruse. We hear aafl
read much of the Quietism and Passive Obedience inculcated amongst the Jesuit body;
but here we become personal spedaiors of these principles in action, . . .Mi
inn./. ;i|i|n--irs tn be a most remarkable character, lie may be received as an un
witness. . . . We repeat il, Mr. Si einmetz's book is most valuable; earnest and tiuititu'
in ils Lone, and extremely interesting in ils detail/* — AVw Quarterly Review*
THE JESUIT IK THE FAMILY,
A Tale. By An phew Stjeinmetz* In one vol* post 8vo. price 9*<
" A wcll-wrilten and powerful novel, constructed for the development or Jesuit ane-
tices, and lo show iho Jesuit in action. The interest in some parts is intensely
tin. Mr. Sleinincii h;is produced a work of no ordinary Chancier, full of talent and Hill
of interest." — John BulL
l * Remarkable for force of idess and originality of style. * * * The narrative is dr**
malic, both m construction and language, and marked with great vivacity. In the
^f tf if ttOTJ and action of the vcrsowagcft, Mr. Steinmelz shows that he has closet) 1 studied
human tife, and profited bj bis observftAwTA, \tva*«A, w vvaStetA. ™& tswoa Ck
gives a more acute exposition ot the qarietiea oV tafflri&uu. &«swfti*r — UtUikkih,^
SMITH, BLDSB AND CO., CORNKX&&.
FIRST SEBEES OF TALES OF THE COLONIES.
TAIiES OF THE COLONIES; OR, THE ADVENTURES
OF AN EMIGRANT.
By Charles Rowcroft, Esq., a late Colonial Magistrate. The Fifth
Edition. In foolscap 8vo., price 6s. cloth.
" 'Tales of the Colonies ' is an able and interesting book. The author has the first
great requisite in fiction— a knowledge of the life he undertakes to describe ; and his
matter is solid and real."r-Spectator.
" This is a book, as distinguished from one of the bundles of waste paper in three
divisions, calling themselves ' novels/ " — Athenteum. »
" The narration has a deep and exciting interest. No mere romance, no mere
fiction, however skilfully imagined or powerfully executed, can surpass it. The work to
which it bears the nearest similitude is Robinson Crusoe, and it is scarcely, if at all
inferior to that extraordinary history." — John Bull.
" Since the time of Robinson Crusoe, literature has produced nothing like these
• Tales of the Colonies.' " — Metropolitan Magazine.
" .... Romantic literature does not supply instances of wonderful escape more
marvellous. . . . The book is manifestly a mixture of fact and fiction, yet it gives, we
have every reason to believe, a true picture of a settler's life in that country; and is
thickly interspersed with genuine and useful information."
Chambers* s Edinburgh Journal*
" The contents of the first volume surpass in interest many of the novels of Sir
Walter Scott." — Westminster Review.
" An exceedingly lively and interesting narrative, which affords a more striking view
<ef the habits of emigrant colonial life than all the regular treatises, statistical returns, and
«ven exploratory tours which we have read. ... It combines the fidelity of truth with
Hie spirit of a romance, and has altogether so much of De Foe in its character and com-
position, that whilst we run we learn, and, led along by the variety of the incidents,
become leal ideal settlers in Van Diemen's Land." — Literary Gazette.
SECOND SEEIES OF TALES OF THE COLONIES.
THE BUSHRANGER OF VAN DIEMEN'S LAND.
By C. Rowcroft, Esq., Author of " Tales of the Colonies." In 3 vols,
post 8vo. price 11. lis. 6d.
" These volumes have the same qualities that gained so much popularity for the
Author's previous work ' Tales qf the Colonies.' No one has depicted colonial life, as
manifested in # the settlements of Australia, with so much vigour and truth as Mr. Rowcroft.
He rather seems to be a narrator of actual occurrences than an inventor of imaginary ones.
His characters, his manners, and his scenes are all real. He has been compared to De
Foe, and the comparison is just." — Britannia.
" These volumes form a second series of ' Tales of the Colonies,' and the pages
are marked by the same vigorous and graphic pen which procured such celebrity for the
first series. The interest, generally well sustained throughout, is occasionally of the most
absorbing and thrilling kind. Altogether, there is a freshness about these volumes which
brings them out in strong contrast to the vapid productions with which the press is
teeming." — Globe.
" The story contains all the merits of the ' Tales oj the Colonies ' as regards style ;
being simple and Crusoite, if we might use the term,* in its narrative. Mr. Rowcroft
possesses invention to an extraordinary degree, in the manner in which he manages
the escapes of the bushranger, — and be produces, by the simplest incidents, most
interesting scenes ;— pictures of nature and of a society totally different from anything to
be found elsewhere." — Weekly Chronicle.
FANNY THE LITTLE MILLINER j OR, THE RICH ANI
By Charles Rowcroft, Esq. In one vol. 8vo., handsomely taramiV
cloth gilt, with Plates, price 14a.— TYxe tweVi* ^*x** m«j \a* *-
separately, price Is. each, sewed.
S WORKS JtTST PUBLISHED BY
THE FARMER'S FRIEND. A Periodical Record of Recent Dis-
coveries, Improvcmento, and Practical Suggestion a in Agriculture.
One volume, post 8vo. price 7s, 0d. cloth.
THE INDIAN MEAL BOOK a
Comprising the best American Receipts for the various Preparations of
that excellent Article. By Eliza Leslie, of Philadelphia; Author of
" American Domestic Cookery; " " The House Book ; lr " Seventy-five
Receipt;};*' u French Cookery j " tec, &c. Second Edition. Foolscap
8vo* sewed in a wrapper, price In. (3d.
" Neil lo lhe corn itself, we cannot conceive a more acceptable present to the poor c
any neighbourhood, either individually or in parochial libraries, than Miss Leslie's work.
It is very simple, and embraces recipes for every purpose lo which make is put in
I niied Stales, and therefore cannot but add lo lhe comfort of the loo limited table of I
labouring man." — Indian A>uu.
**Thta 1 i 11 Re volume contains about sixty receipts for different preparations of Indiai
meal, and all of which may be found useful in the threatened dearth. Maize, or Indian
corn, is now admitted lo Lie the best anil most available substitute for the potato/*
THE COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN EUROPE AND
INDIA THROUGH EGYPT,
Considered in relation to the Political and Commercial Interests r»f Great
Britain, and the Policy of France* By Geo rub Fin lay, Esq,, K»it.<j.,
Author of "Greece under the Romans/'— In Bvo., price 2*. \mL
" A well-written and very interesting pamphlet on a subject of immense interest
government and people of Britain, and one on which, we are afraid, sufficient attention
has not been beslowed by the authorities in this country/* — Cumberland /'arrjuri.
A FAMILIAR EXPLANATION OF THE ART OF
ASSAYING GOLD AND SILVER;
And its bearing upon the Interests of the Public demonstrated; n
considerations on the Importance of the Pi x Jury; a Review of the \
and present state of the Goldsmiths* Trade ; and a Table, showing the
mixture and sterling value per ounce of every quality of Gold that can be
alloyed. By James II. WatheesTONj Goldsmith, In post Bvo,, price
3*. Gd. cloth.
EEV, H. MACKENZIE'S COMMENTARY,
COMMENTARY ON THE HOLY GOSPELS,
A minted according to the Table op Lessons for Daily Service.;
designed fur Family Reading. By the Rev. Hekry Mackenzie, M.A.
of Pembroke College, Oxford \ Incumbent of Great Yarmouth. Bjq,
price It. cloth; or in Five Parts, at !*♦ M. eadi.
LIFE IN NORTH WALES,
Or, North Wales; its Manners, Customs, and Scfbrstitio
during the last Century, illustrated by a Story founded on Fact*.
three vota. post 8vo., price IJ« 11j, fitf 4
11 It is a real work, with more materia] and original knowledge (ban half the manufac-
tured novels that appear in these days/* — Spectator*
11 We can most cordially recommend U as a series of Sketches of North Wales wrll
worthy of perusal; so various and so carious as lo be as wef< nme le the library of the
tntfqotry arid portfolio olthe artist as to tut Veiuitc Vwnk <ft \ht v\s\*L reader,"— lAttr\
SMITH, SLDBR AND CO., CORNHILX.. 9
ME. PBIDHAM'S ACCOUNT OF THE COLONIES.
ENGLAND S COLONIAL EMPIRE.
An Historical, Political, and Statistical Account of the
British Empire, its Colonies and Dependencies. By Charles
Pridham, Esq., B.A., Member of the Royal Geographical Society, &c.
Volume I. — Comprising
THB MAURITIUS AND ITS DEPENDENCIES.
" The first volume of a work intended to completely exhibit England's Colonial Empire.
The author is Mr. Pridham, who, in a modest preface, apologizes for having at so early an
age undertaken so gigantic a task. The first volume, however, shows no lack of either
ability, research, or knowledge. It is occupied with an excellent account of the Mauritius,
divided into four parts -. the first part gives its history from its discovery by the Portuguese
to the present time; the second describes its inhabitants, and their institutions and states ;
the third its physical features and natural productions ; and the fourth its industry, com-
merce, and government. Ample information is given on all these heads, and regarding
the extent of the author's design, and the evidence he gives of the requisite qualification
to carry it out satisfactorily, we make no doubt that his work will be a valuable addition to
the history and geography of our colonial empire. The present volume is complete in
itself." — Britannia,
" This is the first volume of what promises to be an important national work. The
instalment now before us is brimful of valuable and interesting information, making up
by far the most complete account of Mauritius which has yet been given to the world.
The author has the qualifications necessary to the due fulfilment of the task which he has
set himself. He is patient and pains-taking, accurate and impartial."— Atlas.
" This is the first volume of a series, which we hope to see completed in the spirit with
which the task has been undertaken. As a whole, we are bound to say that the book is
a standard one, and that ' England's Colonial Empire has met with a chronicler of zeal,
industry, and ability." — Colonial Gazette.
u There is no other such description of the Mauritius extant. The author has not only
consulted the best, and perhaps all the authorities, but he has added information of his
own, apparently gathered on the spot." — Economist,
CLINICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE DISEASES OF
INDIA: As Exhibited in the Medical History op a Body of
European Soldiers, for a Series of Years from their Arrival in that
Country. By William Geddes, M.D., Member of the Royal Medical
Society of Edinburgh, and the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta,
and late Surgeon of the Madras European Regiment. In one vol. 8vo.
Price 16s. cloth.
" It is hardly possible to conceive a more complete medical history than the one fur-
nished by Dr. Geddes. He has conferred an inestimable benefit upon medical science;
and no practitioner who regards either his interest or his duly can be without the book."
— Indian News,
" To the medical officers in India, and especially to those about to proceed thither, this
will be found a valuable book of reference, and well merits to be included in the list of
works with which officers are required to provide themselves on joining the service." —
British and Foreign Medical Review,
** We strongly recommend every medical man goinj to the East Indies to have a copy of
it at his side, as affording an excellent pattern for him to follow in the accumulation and
arrangement of his observations when engaged in practice. Dr. Geddes has done for the
symptoms of the diseases which he describes what Louis has done for the microscopic
phenomena of fever." — Medico^Chirurgical Review,
" The leading characters of this volume are great precision and accuracy. This work
must be referred to as a source of correct information on most questions relating to the
diseases prevalent among Europeans in India." — Edinburgh Medical and Surgical
" The book will be valuable to every future practitioner as a means of knowing the suc-
cess of certain methods of treating the diseases of India \ and Y\& *VwteYvW^^\A W\\»
• minute description of those diseases which he is most \\ke\3 to m««X,tau&&\Ata ta&taa*.
to serve in toe Esst."—Zancet.
10 WORKS PUBLISHED BY
THE DUTIES OF JUDGE ADVOCATES,
Compiled from Her Majesty's and the Hon, East Ij*dia Co:
pant's Military BegulationSj and from the Works of various
Writers on Military taw. By Captain R. M. Hughes, 12th \\>
Bombay Army; Deputy Judge- Advocate General, Scinde Field Force
In one vol. post Svo., price 7*. cloth.
** Captain Hughes's tittle volume on this important subject will well supply the
absence of that full and particular information which officers suddenly appointed to act i
'Deputy Judge Advocates* must have felt the want of, even though tolerably well vej
in military law/* — Spectator*
"A professional LWf-tnwuin, relating to moat important duties, and executed in tin
ablest manner. We consider this, the only complete separate treatise on the suhjrri. t
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SCENES IN THE LIFE OF A SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.
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w This laic has a strange perianal history. It purports to be the auto biography
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U A very scholarly composition, ttfftajfet much itwai^ m& vnfcrcmittou
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SMITH, B1DER AND CO., CORVBZU. 13
OBLIGATIONS OF LITERATURE TO THE
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Prize Essay, 1840. By Caroline A. Halsted. In one vol.
post 8vo., price 5*. neatly bound in cloth.
M The object of the writer has been to show the services rendered by the mothers of
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LIFE OF MARGARET BEAUFORT,
Countess of Richmond and Derby, and Mother of King Henry
the Seventh, Foundress of Christ's and of St. John's College, Oxford ;
Being the Historical Memoir for which the Honorary Premium was
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thus compiled a work which, if not entitled to rank amongst the ' curiosities of literature,'
is at least one of the most interesting and instructive books of the season." — Atlas.
LAST OF THE PLANTAGENETS:
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ANGLO-SAXON VERSION OF THE STORY OF
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OF THE ANGLO-SAXON TONGUE,
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14 WOSKB FUBU5HED ST
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UNDER THE AUSPICES OP Hi M. GOVERNMENT, AND OF THE HOX* T
COURT OP DIRECTORS OP THE EAST INDIA COMPANY,
FAUNA ANTIQUA SIVALENSIS,
The Foaan Zoology of the Sewaltk Hills, in the North
India. By Uvau Falconer, M.D., F.R S + , F.L,5„ F.G.S., fcteml
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, a art of the Royal As in tic Society
the Bengal Medical Service, and lite Superintendent of the IT* I.J i ,
Botanic Garden at Sahacunpuor : and Proby T, Gantlet, F.G.S.
Major in the Bengal Artillery, Member of the Asiatic Society e.
Bengal^&c. Bolted by Hugh Falconek.
Plan of -Publication. — The work will appear in about Twelve Parts, to
be published at intervals of four months ; each Part containing fromTwelvi
tn Fifteen folio Plates. The descriptive Letterpress will be printed li
royal octavo. Price of each fart, one Guinea. — Part J, cootuini
Phodosci ih-:a. — Parts IT. and TIL, containing the continuation of
Proeoscidea, will be published shortly. Prospectuses of the Work
may be obtained of the Publisher*.
" A work of immense labour and research* - , , - Nothing has ever appeared ra
lithography in this country a I all comparable lo these plates ; and as regards the repre
scntations of minute osseous texture, by Sir. Ford, (hey arc perhaps the most perfect
that have yet been produced in any country* . . * The work has commenced with the
Elephant j^roup, in which the authors say g is most signally displayed the numerical rich-
ness of farms which characterises the Fos*i, Fauna of India;' ami the first chapter
relates to the Frobosckiea— Elephant and Musiodou. The authors have out n
themselves to a descri[>iion of the S..-s>:ilik l-\K*i| forms, hut they propose lo trace tba
affinities* and institute an arrange men i of all the well -determined species in the famil*.
They give a brief historical sketch of the leading opinions which have been entertained
by palaeontologists respecting ihe relations of the Mastodon and Elephant lo each other,
and of the successive steps in the discovery of new forms which have led to the modtJicj-
tions of these opinions. They state that the results Lo which iticy themselves have been
conducted, lead them Lo differ on certain points Irom the opinions most commonly enter-
tained al the present day, respecting the fossil species of Elephant and Ma si t* Ion.'
Address of the President of the Geological Society ofljondon, 20lh Feb, l$44i*
Works recently Published and in progress under the authority
ov the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
*/ In order to secure to science the full advantage of Discoveries in IVtttural
History, the I*ards Commissioners of Her Majesty** Treasury have brm ,
make a liberrtt grant of money towards defraying putt of the expenses of |
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a scate worthy of th<* high patnmngf, thus reveirfrd, and are offered to the public
at a much lower price than would otherwise have been possible.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE ZOOLOSY OF SOUTH
Comprising all the new species nf Quadrupeds, Birde, Reptiles, and
Fishes, obtained during the Evpedhion fitted out by ** The Cup* of Gm
Hope Association for exploring Central Africa," in the years 1834, 11*35,
and l8JMij with Lett ftfo rew Descriptions,, and a Summary of African
Zoology, -By Andrew ^hjth, M.0., Surgeon to the Forces, and
Director of the Expedition. In Rnya] Quarto Paris, price IG#. and 12*.
each, containing on an average ten beautifully coloured Engravings, with
descriptive Letterpress. The whole of the Plates are engraved in the
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Workj and beautifully coloured %X\&x utttttt. T^tuV^-feur Parts
SMITH, SLBBB AJTD CO., COSHBXLL, 15 .
rHE ZOOLOGY OF THE VOYAGE OF H.M.S. SULPHUR,
Under the Command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, R.N., C.B.
F.R.G.S., &c. Edited and Superintended by Richard Brinsley
Hinds, Esq., Surgeon R.N., attached to the Expedition.
The extensive and protracted voyage of Her Majesty's Ship " Sulphur,"
having been productive of many new and valuable additions to Natural
History, a number of which are of considerable scientific interest, it has
been determined to publish them in a collected form, with illustrations
of such as are hitherto new or unfigured. The collection has been
assembled from a variety of countries, embraced within the limits of a
voyage prosecuted along the shores of North and South America, among
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of the globe. In many of these, no doubt, the industry and research of
previous navigators may have left no very prominent objects unobserved,
yet in others there will for some time remain abundant scope for the
Naturalist. Among the countries visited by the " Sulphur," and which
in the .present state of science are invested with more particular interest,
may be mentioned the Californias, Columbia River, the North-west coast
of America, the Feejee Group (a portion of the Friendly Islands), New
Zealand, New Ireland, New Guinea, China, and Madagascar. In Royal
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This Work is now Complete, and may be had in sewed Parts,
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Parts V., IX., and X. Fish, by J. Richardson, M.D., F.R.S. —
Parts VI., VII., and VIII. Shells, by R. B. Hinds, Esq.
THE BOTANY OF THE VOYAGE OF H.M.S. SULPHUR,
Under the Command of Captuin Sir Edward Belcher, R.N., C.B.,
F.R.G.S., &c, during the years 1836 — 42. Edited and Superintended
by Richard Brinsley Hinds, Esq., Surgeon R.N., attached to the
Expedition. The Botanical Descriptions by George Bentham, Esq.
This Work is now Complete, and may be had in six sewed Parts,
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16 WORKS PUBLISHED ST
PUBLISHED WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE LORDS CQA*MI39TOHBHS O
HER MAJESTY'S TREASURY.
GEOLOGICAL. OBSERVATIONS MADE DTJRIKG Ti
VOVAGE OF H.M.S, BEAGLE,
Under the Command of Captain Fitziioy, K.X.
Part I.— On Coral Formations.
By Charles DabwiW, M.A., F.ft.S,, Sec. G. S., &c. Demy 6vo
with Plates and Woodcuts, price log. in cloth.
Part II v— On the Volcanic Islands of the Atlantic and Pacini
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AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND COURSE
STORMS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN,
South of the Equator; with a view of discovering their Origin
Extent, Rotatory Character, Rate and Direction of Projjre*>
Barometrical Depression, and other concomitant phenomena; for ih
practical purpose of enabling ships to ascertain the proximity an
relative position of Hurricanes; with suggestions on the means o<
avoiding them. By Alexander Thom, Surgeon 8Cth Royal County
Down Regiment. In one vol. Bto., with Map and Plates, price 12j,
"The work before us is most valuable 10 seamen. . . . Mr. Thorn Rives us (he- result
or his observations ol the Mauritius j a station which n peculiarly veil adapted for ob-
*h -lins the bttnfcailH of the Indian Ocean, the ravages of Which seamen have JinnuflU;
experienced ; and ihosc observations, combined with ike results obtained by indefaligaM
enquiry, have entitled liiin lo the graliludeof seamen, who may now profit by them. , ,
Mr* Tbom*s theory is rational and philosophical, and lo ns it is most sntKlufUiry. . . .
1 h- ■>)' are important considerations for seamen in Ibis work." — Xmii icai Magazine.
■■ The aiiibor proceeds in strict accordance with the principles oi induciivi
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theory. His statements are so full and clear, and drawn frum inch pimple warn
are so decisive in their tendency, that we think there can be no doubt be has establish*
the rotatory action or storms. The practical application of his investigations are
palpable to be missed." — Britannia*
A DISSERTATION ON THE TRUE AGE OF THE EARTH,
As Ascertained prom the Holy Scriptures. Containing
Review of the Opinions of Ancient and Modern Chronologcr*, including
Ufther, flak's, Clinton, and Cuiiinghmnc; and a Chronological Table
of the Principal Epochs and Events in Sacred and Profane History,
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In demy 8vo., price 12$. cloth.
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EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCHES, CHEMICAL AND
Part I* contain! — Carbon a Compound Body made by Plants, in quan-
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Part II. Decomposition of Catbim &rita% vVui Putrefactive Fermentation,
By Ho b£hi ltluu, 1' * T3LS - In &wi\y fc<< <>-, ^tvt* 1*. fcdu
SMITH, SI.DBR AND OO m CORNHXU. 17
ILLUSTEATED WOBKS ON NATURAL HISTOEY BY
CAPTAIN THOMAS BBOWN.
LI.I7STRATIONS OF THE RECENT CONCHOLOGY OF
GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
With the Description and Localities of all the Species,-— Marine, Land,
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ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE FOSSIL CONCHOIiOOV OF
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Twenty-eight Numbers have appeared, and the work will soon be
U.TJSTRATIONS OF THE GENERA OF BIRDS.
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Part I. is just completed, price 36*. cloth.
OF FOSSIL CONCHOLOOYj
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LLFHABETICAL IiIST OF THE SHEWS OF GREAT
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WAR WITH THE SIKHS.
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M There is mach information in this volume, condensed into brief space,
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A_ VISIT TO THE ANTIPODES,
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COMMENTARY ON THE HINDU SVSTEM OF
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Paris ; Bengal Medical Service. In one vol. 8vo., price 12*. cloth.
NEW ZEALAND AND ITS ABORIGINES:
Being an Account of the Aborigines, Trade, and Resources of the Colony ;
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AN ACCOUNT OF THE SETTLEMENTS OF THE NEW
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SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE;
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Charleh John Bakeu, Esq. Po%x ftNo M \ydw %». ^q\Jiv*
SMITH, ELDER AITS CO.. CORITHZ1I. ]Q
TRAVELS IN NEW SOUTH WALES.
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IEW ZEALAND, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AND NEW
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CALIFORNIA: A HISTORY OF UPPER AND LOWER
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A full view of the Missionary Establishments, and condition of the
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8vo., price 14*. cloth.
SUGGESTIONS FOR A GENERAL PLAN OF RAPID
COMMUNICATION BY STEAM NAVIGATION AND
And applying it to the Shortening the Time of Communication between
the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. By Edward McGeachy,
Esq., Crown Surveyor, Jamaica. With 2 maps, 8vo. price 3*. bds.
Or, a Display of the Topography, History, Customs, Manners, Arts,
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the Chinese Empire. By the Rev. Charles Gutzlafp. Revised
by the Rev. Andrew Reed, D.D. In 2 vols., post 8vo., price 24*.
" We obtain from these volumes more information of a practical kind than from any
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full of information, gathered with diligence, and fairly leaves the English reader without
any excuse for ignorance on the subject." — Atlas.
" This is by Jar die most interesting, complete, and \a\uab\e tfittw&X <& ft& ^etam*
Empire tbst has jet been published." — Sun.
A HISTORY OP THE CHINESE EMPIRE, ANCIE
OotnjgitJPt a Hetroapect of the Foreign Intercourse and Trade
Chiim. Illustrated by a new and Corrected Map of the Empire. Bi
Her. Charles Gutblafp. Id 2 vols* demy Svo. bda., price 2ft*.
m We cordially recommend this exceedingly interesting account of this very inter*
Country." — London. Review,
*'Mr. GuuKiff ha* evidently combined industry with talent in producing this
which far exceeds in information, research, and apparent veracity, an j thing we
before seen concerning this curious and singular nation/" — London A'cum.
HAND-BOOK FOR INDIA AND EGYPT:
Comprising Travel* from Calcutta, through India, to the Him
Mountains, and a Voyage down the Sotlege and Indm Rivera ; a Vi
the city of Hyderabad, is Scinde ; and a Journey to England by the
Sea and Mediterranean : with Description! of the Three Presidenei
India ; and the fullest detail a for parties proceeding to any part qf 1
either by the Overland Itoute, or by way of the Cape of Good II
By George Parbuhv, Esq,, M.R.A.S. Second Edition, one vol.
8vo.* wlili an entirely new Map, price 12*. cloth.
%• The press, both of Great Britain and India, have combined in eulopizinc
valoe of this work, but it mar only here be m-edlul la quote the following remarks
the editorial eofamu of the Standard at the tOth of April, 1843:—** We have else*
ro| M hw Mr. I\n hury's Hand- Book to India and Efzypt, an interesting account
Cut) of Hyderabad. Let us, in acknowledgment of the moans afforded to ut to in
ami gratify our readers, lav Of Mr. Parbury's work, as we may with truth, that it i
best Topographical Guide to the countries to which it refers we have ever seen, a
interfiling hook, independently of its topographical utility, and an almost indispen
Li ; to the late, transactions in Central! Asia/"
THE MODERN HISTORY AND CONDITION OF EGYP
Its Climate, Diseases, and Capabilities; exhibited in a Per>
Narrative of Travels in that Country, with an Account of the Proc^e*
of Mahommed Ali Fasctm, from 1801 to 18-13, interspersed with
tions of Scripture History, the Fulfilment of Prophecy, and the Pro
of Civilisation iu the East. By W, Holt Yates, M.D..
two thick volumes, demy tko,, with numerous Illustrations, price
" He fulfils his historic vocation by an ample resume of the more prominent incn
which have distinguished the fortunes of the Poseha, upon whose policy of general n*
fi*»l> his strictures are severe enough, and acquits himself creditably from his sj
highly coloured sketches of the abundant objects to which he draws attention/'
TUB INVALID'S GUIDE TO MADEIRA.
With a Description of Tenenffe, liaboa, Ciutra, and Mafra ; and a T
bulary of the Portuguese and English Languages. By Willi am Wb
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** Tiirrr hM remilU been puU^\ie4 a R»A v«*\ tyj "*** tnfc^=t>>VA*k mar b*
nutted with fldyfltilag*.*'— Sir Iain Claur on Climate.
SMITH, ¥8T.-nint AVD CO., CORNHXW. 21
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